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Thomas Jefferson 




AndRBW a. Lipscomb, Chairman Board of Gevirnun 


The Thomas jEFftRso\ Memorial Associatio\ 






CopVRIOHT. 1904, 

The Thomas Jkfkekson Memorial 





The lives of institutions, like those of human 
beings, have their vicissitudes. This University 
in whose honor we are gathered together to-day, has 
not been an exception. It had a long struggle even 
for existence. Joy and triumph followed when, 
eighty years ago, its first comer-stone was laid with 
pomp and ceremony in the presence of a distin- 
guished company which included three illustrious 
men who had filled the office of President of the 
United States. A long succeeding period of growth, 
prosperity and happiness was rudely interrupted by 
the desolating storm of war — ^war raging with fury 
around its own temples, and driving even its own 
peaceful children into the grim work of destruction 
and slaughter. But even war, which spares almost 
nothing, yet spared the walls with their precious 
contents. The heart of the soldier will still melt 
before the sad pleading of the Muse. 

* An Address delivered by James C. Carter, LL. D., upon the occa- 
sion of the Dedication of the new Buildings of the University, 
June 14, 1898. 

iy The University of Virginia, and 

"Lift not thy spear against the Muses' bower: 
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare 
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tow'r 
Went to the ground; and the repeated air 
Of sad Electra's poet had the pow'r 
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare." 

The dawn of peace found the University weak and 
exhausted, but not disheartened. The people of 
Virginia who had learned to cherish it, its sons who 
looked back to it with fond affection, the warm- 
hearted and open-handed friends of learning in dis- 
tant places came forward with liberal help. The 
Muses returned and re-peopled their hatmts, and a 
new era of prosperity, stimtdated by the new national 
life, began its course. 

But another stroke of adversity awaited it, — ^this 
time, not from the hostile passions of man, but from 
the rage of the elements, less savage indeed, but not 
less unsparing. Its very walls were laid in ruins and 
their precious treasures wasted. But if any evi- 
dence were needed to show the extent to which the 
University had increased in power, in grandeur, in 
usefulness, and in the esteem of the people of Vir- 
ginia and the friends everywhere of the higher educa- 
tion, it would be found in the undaunted spirit with 
which this disaster was faced. There was an imme- 
diate resolve that it should rise from its ashes in yet 
fairer proportions, more worthy of the spirit in which 
it was originally founded, better equipped for the 
great work to which it was originally dedicated, and 
a more glorious monument to the great name forever 
associated with it. 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father v 

This great piirpose has now been accomplished, 
and we are gathered together to-day to celebrate its 
completion. The scene before me and around is the 
best evidence of the interest of the occasion. The 
sons of the University from near and far have 
returned to the bosom of their Fair Mother to rejoice 
together over her happiness. Representatives of 
other seats of learning are here to offer their con- 
gratulations. The diplomatic representative of the 
great empire at the antipodes — an empire in which 
learning has for ages been held in honor— lends to 
the occasion the dignity of his presence. The vener- 
able Commonwealth is here in the person of the 
Chief Magistrate and principal officers of state to 
manifest her own interest in an institution which her 
bounty has cherished and which has given back in 
return the support upon which alone a free Com- 
monwealth can rest. 

It is the custom on such occasions to make pro- 
vision for deliberate utterance of the thoughts which 
they are calculated to excite, and the authorities of 
the University have thought it suitable to invite to 
this office, not — I have been made to feel — ^an entire 
stranger, but a friend from a distance, whose oppor- 
tunities have not been such as to permit a close 
observation of the history and fortunes of the insti- 
tution. Profoundly sensible of the honor thus con- 
ferred upon me, I cannot help feeling how inadequate 
I am to its due performance. I cannot speak of the 
University of Virginia with all the affection which 

^ Mil 

vi The University of Virginia, and ■ 

the graduate cherishes for his Alma Mater, nor with 
the full pride which the Virginian alone can feel ; but 
to those who regard- -this institution as their own, 
who have control over its destinies, or have been 
reared within its walls, a view of it, as it appears to 
outside observers, may not be unwelcome, or wholly 
uninteresting. We are sometimes enabled to correct 
our own conceptions of ourselves, and qualify our- 
selves in some degree for the better performance of 
our own duties, by learning what is thoi:^ht of us 
and what is expected of us by others. 

Let me then occupy your thoughts for a brief hour 
with a sketch, very rude and imperfect, of the origin 
of the University and of its principal features as they 
appear to the world at large, to which I may add 
some allusion to its illustrious founder, and to the 
political philosophy the teaching of which he so 
ardently desired to promote. 

Its origin offers a strong contrast with the begin- 
nings of our principal seats of learning which pre- 
ceded it. Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Princeton 
began as mere schools for humble colonies, with no 
prevision of the great destinies which awaited them. 
Their majestic proportions have been developed and 
shaped, during long periods of time, by many differ- 
ent hands and many varying influences. But the 
University of Virginia sprang into life, in full pan- 
oply, from the conception of a single man, like 
Minerva from the brain of Jove. The aim of its 
founder was not to supply merely local and immedi- 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father vii 

ate wants, but to make provision for the growth, 
maintenance and glory of the new civilization and 
the new empire with which his visions were filled. 
No sketch can even be outlined of the origin and 
character of this institution which does not take in as 
a principal element the figure of this illustrious man. 
The leading feature in the mind and character of 
Thomas Jefferson was a firm and undoubting belief 
in the worth and dignity of human nature, and in 
the capacity of man for self government. This was 
at once the conclusion of his reason and the passion 
of his soul. Whence it came to him it is difficult to 
discover; it was not from the sense of subjection 
and oppression felt by an inferior class in society 
towards those above it, for he belonged to the class 
of well to do, if not wealthy, Virginia land-holders; 
not from the venerable college of William and Mary, 
in which he was bred, for his opinions were not the 
cherished sentiments of that institution; not from 
his early and familiar acquaintance, to which he has 
acknowledged his great indebtedness, with Dr. Small, 
the President of that College, George Wythe and 
Gov. Fauquier, for their tendencies were towards 
very conservative views; not even from the fiery 
eloquence of Patrick Henry, to which he had often 
listened with admiration, — that may have fanned 
the flame in his bosom — ^but indignation at the Stamp 
Act would scarcely have nerved him to his early 
effort in the House of Burgesses to facilitate the 
mantunission of slaves. It seems to have been 

viii The University of Virginia, and 

inborn; but whether inborn or communicated, it 
ruled his life; it burst from him like the peal of an 
anthem when he came to pen the immortal Declara- 
tion ; his long residence in Europe only confirmed it ; 
the excesses of the French Revolution had no effect 
to abate it, and it breathes through every line of his 
public utterances from his seat as President of the 
United States; it was the foundation of his virtues 
and the source of his errors ; and not only the source 
of these, but the cause of the false imputation to him 
of errors he never committed ; his friendships and 
his enmities were alike due to it; he distrusted all 
who were not in full sympathy with it, and they dis- 
trusted him. Taught by bitter experience that the 
principles of true democracy are often as distasteful 
to the multitude as they are to the possessors of 
wealth and privilege, that the masses of men, fas- 
cinated by the splendors and force of concentrated 
power, may easily be persuaded, sometimes, to sur- 
render in exchange for them the sense of individual 
freedom, even this did not dishearten him, and after 
filling, for eight years, the highest office in the gift of 
his countrymen with undeviating fidelity to the 
principles of popular government, he retired to the 
rest and repose of his beloved Monticello, carrying 
thither convictions of the worth and dignity of 
human nature, and ideals of government by the peo- 
ple, as distinct and fresh as those which animated 
him in the morning of his life. 

Men have forever been prone to cast either a 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father ix 

doubt or a sneer upon the apparently beneficent 
deeds of those whose principles they reject and 
whose influence they fear. A large part, at least, of 
the acts of Mr. Jefferson's official life still remain, 
and will, perhaps, forever remain, the subjects of 
dispute; but he himself has happily singled out, to 
be engraven upon his tomb, three particular achieve- 
ments with which he wished his name to be associ- 
ated, by friend or stranger, in all future time. The 
latest generation of his countrymen will not question 
the justice of his claim, nor withhold any part of the 
full tribute of honor and glory which belongs to the 
"author of the Declaration of American Indepen- 
dence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Free- 
dom, and to the Father of the University of Virginia." * 
Mr. Jefferson, at his retirement, was sixty-six 
years of age. His intellectual faculties were unim- 
paired, his bodily strength was well preserved, and 
he was still conscious of the possession of a large 
capacity for usefulness to his countrymen and to 
mankind. His ambition for public office, never very 
deeply cherished, had been fully satisfied, and he 
was inwardly resolved never again to seek it. He 
had cherished through life a passion for the acquisi- 
tion of knowledge, and was one of the best educated 
men, if not the best educated man, of his coimtry 
and time, and he could have filled the remainder of 
his days with a serene and tranquil enjoyment of the 
pleasures of literature and science; but such a life 

* Prom the inscription on his tomb. 

The UmvcfsitT of Miginia, and 


• •>>c^ii 

for him the strength cc wrScr: was ace devoted to the 
advanceme nt of the Iibertv arif hapomess of men. 
He had in early nsacbcod ferried a gyherrie of public 
education, which, trrjci trne to trry^ had pressed 
itself on his attentkci throc^boct even the busiest 
years of his public Iffe. It was part of his political 
phikKSOjAy. Lover d liberty as he was, firmly as 
he believed that popular government was the only 
form of public authority consistent with the highest 
happiness of men, he yet did not bdieve that any 
nation or community could permanently retain this 
blessing without the benefit of the lessons of truth, and 
the discipline of \Trtue to be derived only from the 
intellectual and moral education of the whole people. 

His general scheme appears to have embraced 
three branches: (i) the division of the whole state 
into districts, or wards, and the establishment in 
each of a primary school in which the rudiments of 
knowledge should be taught to all; (2) the estab- 
lishment of a sufficient number of higher academies 
or colleges, in which those exhibiting in the primary 
schools superior intellectual endowments might 
acquire, gratis, sl further and higher education ; and (3) 
a State University, in which each science shotdd " be 
taught in the highest degree it has yet attained.*'* 

The length of time during which, and the intensity 
with which Mr. Jefferson had devoted himself to this 
great object, is well manifested by an extract from a 

• See Jcffcr»r>n's Autobiography; vol. i, p. 47. 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father 

letter written by him in 1818, some ten years after 
Kliis retirement from the presidency. "A system," 
I'Says he, " of general instruction which shall reach 
I'Cvery description of our citizens, from the highest to 
I the poorest, as it was the earliest, so will it be the latest, 
of all the public concerns in which I shall permit myself 
to take an interest."' 

The two branches of his scheme relating respect- 
ively to the primary schools and the higher acade- 
mies encountered obstacles which it was impossible 
for him to surmount, and they are not those features 
which chiefly concern us to-day ; but I cannot resist 

^the temptation to read before this audience his state- 
ment of the objects of primary education contained 
jn the celebrated report prepared by him for the 
Commission appointed by the Governor of Virginia 
under an act of the General Assembly and which 
met in 1818 at the unpretending tavern at Rockfish 

^Gap in the Blue Ridge. There have been held since 
that day, in many parts of the United States, con- 
ventions and conferences of teachers, educators and 
friends and patrons of learning more numerously 
attended, favored with more abundant information, 
and with other advantages for the consideration and 
discussion of educational questions; but none, cer- 
tainly, more distinguished for the dignity and ability 
of its members. Besides senators and judges, there 
were among those who assembled on that occasion, 
^ James Monroe, then President of the United States, 

' Correspondence of Jefferson and Cabell ; p. 106. 

xii The University of Virginia, and 

and his two predecessors, James Madison and 
Thomas JefEerson. And, certainly, we may look in 
vain for any public statement before that time or 
since, of the objects of public education so concise, 
so comprehensive and so just as that contained in 
the report of this Commission written by Jefferson. 
He thus defined the objects of primary education : 

" I. To give to every citizen the information he 
needs for the transaction of his own business. 

" 2. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to 
express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and 
accounts in v^riting. 

" 3. To improve, by reading, his morals and facul- 

" 4. To understand his duties to his neighbors 
and country, and to discharge with competence 
the functions confided to him by either. 

"5. To know his rights ; to exercise with order and 
justice those he retains ; to choose with disci-etion the 
fiduciary of those he delegates ; and to notice their 
conduct with diligence, with candor and judgment. 

"6. And, in general, to observe with intelligence 
and faithfulness all the social relations under which 
he shall be placed." ' ^ 

This statement of the objects of primary educa^J 

tion will never be improved. It ought to be written 

in letters of gold and hung in every primary school 

throughout the land and be known by heart to every 

teacher and child therein. It is, indeed, more than 

' U. S. Bureau of Education, Circular No. i. p. 33. 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father xiii 

a statement of the elements of rudimentary educa- 
tion. It is an enumeration of the duties of every 
good citizen under a popular government. 

The apparent impossibility, at the time he began 
his effort, of impressing upon the Commonwealth his 
sense of the necessity of a universal provision for 
primary education, moved Mr. Jefferson to turn his 
attention to the third branch of his scheme, that 
which embraced a State University. This, although 
not, in his democratic view, the part of his plan which 
promised results of the widest utility, was the one 
which offered to him the most congenial field of effort, 
and held out to his hopes a better promise of success. 

His conception in its main elements had been in 
his mind from early manhood. He had never dis- 
missed it from his thoughts. He cherished it during 
the gloomy years of the Revolution. He improved 
it during his long sojourn in France. He recurred 
to it again and again in the midst of the perplexities 
which distracted him during both his presidential 
terms, and he brpught it gradually to a completion 
after his retirement. He sought every aid which he 
could derive from independent study, from imceas- 
ing correspondence with men of learning familiar 
with university education and from personal inter- 
course with those interested in his project whom he 
could attract to his own hospitable roof. 

I have no time to recount the successive steps by 
which his plan proceeded towards its realization ; its 
partial embodiment in the Albemarle Academy, its 

xiv The University of Virginia, and H 

fuller development in the Central College, under 
which name the comer-stone of the future University 
was laid, and its final establishment in fact and in 
name by the passage through the General Assembly, 
on the 25th of January-, 1819, of the bill uniting the 
Central College and the University of Virginia. 

It would be no disparagement of the glory to 
which Mr. Jefferson is entitled for this great achieve- 
ment to say that he could never have accomplished 
the work without the aid of others. The assent of 
the Legislature was needed, and for this a favoring 
public sentiment was necessary; but it was here 
that Mr. Jefferson's task began. For forty years he 
had been laboring in every form in which public 
sentiment could be reached, through the press, and 
by correspondence and personal influence with lead- 
ing public men, to create, and he finally created, a 
conviction of the importance and necessity of the 
work. But, however conspicuous the place which 
may be assigned to him, there was one coadjutor 
whose devoted labor and effective. aid can never be 
forgotten. The right arm upon which he relied in 
later years, and without which it may well be doubted 
whether this audience would be gathered together 
to-day, was Joseph C. Cabell. The alumni and 
friends of the University of Virginia may be trusted 
to take care that that name shall not perish from the 
grateful memory of men. 

The whole work, however, was as yet by no means 
accomplished. I have just said that the University 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father 

had become established in fact and in name; but the 
fact was only the legislative fiat, and the name as yet 
but a name. The conception of a University embraces 
noble buildings which contain its libraries, its collec- 
tions, its halls of instruction, and which, in most in- 
stances prior to this time, had been the contributions 
of successive generations. Of these there were as yet 
none ; and in nothing does this institution more clearly 
appear as the creation of Mr. Jefferson's mind than 
in its material structures and their situation. 

In respect to tlie situation, the presence of a sel- 
fish interest may be recognized and excused. Among 
the motives which stimulated his zeal was undoubt- 
edly a desire, of which we have more than one exam- 
ple among democratic statesmen, to spend the years 
of retirement in the congenial neighborhood of a 
great institution of learning and science ; and it was 
the longing of his heart that the University should 
have her permanent seat, " her arms and her chariot," 
in the neigliborhood of his own Monticello. To this 
end he employed everj-' resource of argument, and 
when this failed, of art, to persuade the body of 
which he was himself a member, of the superior 
claims of this locality. They were obliged to admit 
that healthiness and centrality ought to be the pre- 
dominating considerations; but, admitting this, they 
could hardly resist the argument afforded by Mr. 
Jefferson's "imposing array of octogenarians" then 
still living in this region; and, as to centrality, he 
was ready with a demonstration that on whatever 


xvi The University of Virginia, and 


theory the lines might be run " they would be found 
to pass close to Charlottesville."' 

The form, the architecture, and the arrangement 
of the material structures seem to have been alto- 
gether his own; and here he did not allow the sim- 
plicity and frugality of his political philosophy to 
lead him astray. His vision was of a University 
which would appeal to the sentiments, and thus 
attract to itself the most famous teachers, with 
crowds of scholars. He knew the Muses could not 
be enticed to take up their abode in mean and squalid 
habitations. He wrote to his efficient helper, Cabell : 
" The great object of ovir aim from the beginning has 
been to make the establishment the most eminent in 
the United States in order to draw to it the youth of 
every State, but especially of the South and West. 
We have proposed, therefore, to call to it characters 
of the first order of science from Europe, as well as 
our own country, and not only by the salaries and 
the comforts of their situation, but by the distin- 
guished scale of its structure and preparation, and 
the promise of future eminence which these would 
hold up, to induce them to commit their reputation 
to its future fortunes. Had we built a bam for a col- 
lege and log huts for accommodations, should we ever 
have had the assurance to propose to an European 
professor of character to come to it?"' He sought, 
therefore, to reproduce on the American frontier a 

tSSS.p. 37. 

* U. S. Bureau of Education, Circular No. 
' Correspondence of Jefferson and Cabell; 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father xvii 

vision of the architecture and art of Greece and 
Rome. He seems to have been his own architect 
and almost his own builder. It wotild be strange, 
indeed, if the restilts had altogether escaped criti- 
cism, or if personal vanity had not, to some extent, 
usurped the place of knowledge; but it is no mean 
tribute to the merit of the original design that it has 
been, after the lapse of three-quarters of a century, 
reproduced and perpetuated in the principal restora- 
tion which we dedicate to-day. 

On the 7th of March, 1825, the University was 
thrown open for the reception of students, and its 
actual career began. It must have been a day of 
unspeakable satisfaction to Mr. Jefferson. A long 
life filled with public service and public cares had 
been at last crowned by what he regarded as its most 
useful achievement, at the very moment when he 
had reached the botmdary which limits human 
endeavor; but if he was capable of no fiirther effort 
there was no further effort which he was called upon 
to make. It was the very point at which, as he had 
many times declared, he could with happiness pro- 
nounce his " nunc dimiiiis,'' and the moment was not 
long deferred. On the 4th day of July of the suc- 
ceeding year, just half a century after the American 
Colonies had nmg out to the world in his own 
immortal language their declaration of nationality, 
he closed his career on earth. 

This is not the time, had I the abiUty, to make any 
attempt to assign the place to which this illtistrious 


xviii The University of Virginia, and 

man is entitled on the roll of philanthropists. Com- 
ing as he did upon the theatre of conspicuous life at 
a period when the fundamental principles of govern- 
ment were the subjects of universal discussion, sub- 
jects upon which freemen are at all times inclined to 
array themselves on one or the other of two opposing 
sides,— one dreading the effects of popular igno- 
rance, the other fearing the selfishness of the enlight- 
ened, — one looking back to the supposed wisdom 
and virtue of the past, and the other looking forward 
with confidence to the possibilities and promise of 
the future, — plunging, as he did, into these conflicts 
with all the earnestness of long cherished and posi- 
tive convictions, he could hardly fail to encounter 
hostilities which would stop at no methods by which 
his principles or his character could be discredited. 
By some irony of fate the great apostle of democracy 
was made to suffer in his own person all the injustice 
which democratic societies can perpetrate. The 
great defender of the liberty of speech and the press 
was rewarded by an outpouring from the press and 
the pulpit of calumny and detraction unparalleled 
before or since; and the foremost champion of popu- 
lar principles, faithful to them in every act of his life, 
retired from the high office of President under a load 
of unpopularity. 

"Time! the corrector where our judgineDts err, 
Time, the avenger!" 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father 

dispelled the clouds of detraction and the mists 
,of prejudice and revealed in clearer light the true 
age of the statesman and the patriot. Looking at 
^the denunciation poured out upon him by his con- 
imporaries and the applause with which posterity 
.s hailed his name, we are moved to think with the 
■eat English orator " that obloquy is a necessary 
igredient in the composition of all true glory," and 
tjthat " it was not only in the Roman customs, but it is 
the natiu-e and constitution of things that cal- 
ny and abuse are essential parts of a triumph." 
He had, indeed, few of the qualities which mark 
lC great military chieftain, the conqueror, or the 
ictator, but what figure in tlie gallery of American 
lown can point to such a catalogue of pacific 
;hievement? — the abolition in his native State of 
;he laws of primogeniture and entail — the Virginia 
Statute of religious freedom — the Declaration of 
Independence — the kind and peaceful removal of 
the Indian tribes to the west of the Mississippi — the 
near extinction of the national debt — the acquisition 
Louisiana — the University of Virginia — where are 
the crimes or the vices which dim the lustre of these 
deeds? Those whose ideal of the duty and destiny 
of the Republic is that of a conquering nation ready 
at any moment for the grim business of war, eager 
to avenge an insult real or supposed, greedy of mili- 
tary and naval renown, inclined to erect its own will 
ito law, and enforce it against all opposition, to 
;rike first and reason afterwards — these will find 

XX The University of Virginia, and 

little to admire in the career of Mr. Jefferson. He 
knew too well the lessons of history. He knew 
what visions of empire had dazzled the ambition o£j 
Rome, while Rome was yet free, — I 

I "Turegere iraperio populos. Romane, memento; * 

Hse tibi erunt artcs: pacisque imponere morem, 
Parcere subjectis, et debellare Buberpos." 

And he knew also the terrible penalty to Rome and 
the world which an indulgence of those visions cost. 
He had lived in the midst of the interesting scenes 
which ushered in the emancipation of France, and 
had afterwards shuddered to see how ruthlessly the 
passion for extended empire and military glory 
would trample upon true liberty. He was a pacific 
ruler. War, except in self-defence, and as a last 
alternative, he held in detestation, as the enemy 
both of civilization and liberty. His patriotism 
expanded into philanthropy, and permitted no other 
ambitions respecting foreign nations than those of 
cultivating the peaceful relations of trade and com- 
merce with the whole familv of man. 

Whatever abatement we may be required or dis- 
posed to make from his credit as a practical states- 
man, the sum of his achievements was hardly 
equalled by any of his contemporaries, save one 
alone, and the general features of his political phi- 
losophy still remain as the nominal creed at least of 
the great body of his countrymen. 

But what, if any, was the particular conception of 
university education which he enshrined within these 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxi 

B^valls? Is it still cherished here, and will it be a 

' ■worthy guide in training the intellect and directing 

the aspirations of the future generations who are to 

flock hither? These are questions which more 

immediately concern us on this occasion, 

I suppose most men who have given great atten- 
tion to the subject of education have not thought it 
appropriate to inquire for what it was useful ; they 
would deem it useful in itself, as being the develop- 
ment of the faculties of man, or, if required to assign 
an ulterior object to which it should be held sub- 
servient, they would point to nothing less general, or 
less absolute, than human happiness. 

This, however, was not Mr. Jefferson's view. 

Lover as he was of the sciences, and of all learning 

for their own sake, happy as he had always been 

made while cultivating them, he yet would never 

have expended so many years of his life in founding 

this institution, if he had had no hopes other than 

those of establishing a university on the ordinary 

model, even though there were a promise of rivaling 

the fame of Oxford or Bologna. With him, univer- 

l aty education was important as being a part of gen- 

I eral education, and this was important because 

I necessary to the development and preservation of 

that civil and political liberty which he deemed 

essential to the progress and ha]3]]iness of man. 

His idea of university education was, therefore, a 
part of his political philosophy. He believed that 
there was a system of government founded upon the 

xxii The University of Virginia, and 

principles of human nature under which the largest 
liberty and happiness were attainable, but only 
upon the condition of a wide — a universal — diffusion 
of popular education, and that such education 
embraced the cultivation in the highest degree of 
those selected minds exhibiting the highest order of 
genius. It was by means of a systematic cultivation 
of the best natural geniuses in* the land that he hoped 
to carry all the sciences to the highest degree of culti- 
vation, and among them especially, the science of 
free government. 

The animating principle of his political philosophy 
was a jealousy of all governmental fX)wer in whom- 
soever vested. Such power is, of necessity, to be 
exercised by some over others. It ma)- be WTongfully 
usurped, or voluntarily entrusted, but, in either case, 
is liable to be abused; and, in Jefferson's view, the 
best guaranty against abuse consisted in preventing 
usurpation and withholding delegation. He knew, 
indeed, that government to a certain extent was 
necessary, and, therefore, that it was necessary to 
delegate and entrust power; but this he would do 
with stingy parsimony, measuring the amounts doled 
out by the rule of rigid necessity. This was the 
ground of his animosity towards any concentration 
of power in the hands of one, or a few; because con- 
centrated power is a common form and fruit of 
usiuT3ed or delegated power. Nor did his democ- 
racy assume that socialistic iorm which would merge 
the liberty of the individual in the equality of the 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxiii 

masses. It was the natural, original freedom of man 
which he sought to preserve. He was the apostle of 
individualism. He lost no opportunity of incul- 
cating his favorite principle, and a question as to 
whether primary schools should be supported and 
managed by counties, or each by the particular dis- 
trict in which it was situated, led him into a very 
concise and excellent statement of his whole theory : 
**No, my friend," said he, "the way to have good 
and safe government is not to trust it all to one ; but 
to divide it among the many, distributing to every 
one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let 
the National government be entrusted with the 
defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal rela- 
tions; the State government with the civil rights, 
laws, police and administration of what concerns the 
State generally ; the counties with the local concerns 
of the counties and each ward direct the interests 
within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing 
these republics, from the great national one down 
through all its subordinations, until it ends in the 
administration of every man's farm and affairs by 
himself; by placing under every one what his own 
eye may superintend, that all will be done for the 
best. What has destroyed liberty and the rights of 
man in every government which has ever existed 
under the sun ? The generalizing and concentrating 
all cares and powers into one body, no matterwhether 
of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristo- 
crats of a Venetian Senate. And I do believe, that if 


xxiv The University of Virginia, and 

the Almighty has not decreed that man shall never 
be free(and it is blasphemy to believe it) the secret 
will be found in the making himself the depository of 
the powers respecting himself so far as he is compe- 
tent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his 
competency by a synthetical process to higher and 
higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer 
and fewer powers, in proportion as the trustees 
become more and more oligarchical." ' 

At the present day we are so familiar with these 
ideas that it is difficult to imagine that they were 
ever novel; but in Mr. Jefferson's time it was far 
otherwise. Not all of those who espoused the side 
of the colonies against Great Britain and joined in 
the struggle for independence were believers in pop- 
ular government, and many even of those who sup- 
ported the new constitution had but feeble faith in 
democratic principles. Many even preferred mon- 
archical government, and many more what they 
called a strong government, that is, a government 
strong enough to maintain itself even against the 
popular will. 

And it is difficult also to understand the partisan 
hostility and bitterness engendered by these con- 
flicting views. Each side seemed to believe that the 
other was bent upon the destruction of everything 
valuable in society. Jefferson and Marshall, two 
great Virginians, incomparably the first political 
geniuses in the land, utterly distrusted each other. 

' Correspondence of Jefferson and Cabell ; p. 54. 

ach other. ^™ 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxv 

Nor could men be much blamed for withholding 
assent from the poHtical ideas of Jefferson. There 
was but little in the teachings of history to support 
them. They were based in large degree upon a 
priori conceptions. He was obliged to admit that 
all previous attempts at popular government had 
been failures; but this was, in his view, because of 
special disfavoring conditions; the long habit of 
submitting to despotic authority had enervated the 
people, or the true principle of popular government 
had been violated by delegating and concentrating 
too much power in the hands of a few. He saw in 
the conditions exhibited by the American colonies 
the first real opportunity for establishing liberty. 
For a century these colonies had been exempt from 
the dominion of feudalism, from sectarian domina- 
tion, and from nearly every form of severe govern- 
mental oppression. Here was a virgin soil, an 
abundance of land, no degrading poverty, a brave 
and intelligent people which had just vindicated its 
title to independence after a long struggle with the 
mightiest of European powers. He could not help 
thinking that "unless the Almighty had decreed 
that man should never be free (and it would be blas- 
phemy to believe this) " that the golden opportunity 
was now offered; that here the free spirit of man- 
kind should " put its last fetters off ; " that here should 
be established no bastard, degenerate freedom, no 
government affecting to be popular, but really rest- 
ing upon monarchical or aristocratic contrivances: 

xxvi The University of Virginia, and 



but a freedom in which every man should be master 
of his own destiny, in which there should be no 
usurpation of power, and no delegation of power, 
unless its natural possessor was unfitted to exercise 
it, and consequently no concentration of power, 
beyond what rigid necessity required — no great 
standing armies — no powerful navies carrying the 
flag in triumph over every sea, — no interference 
with liberty of opinion or speech — no interference 
with liberty of action, so long as the public peace 
and order were not broken — this was Jefferson'sj 
vision of republican freedom. 

It would be a gross injustice to impute to him hos^ 
tility to government itself, or any indulgence of 
mere license. Government was in his view the first 
and most impxjrtant of human necessities; but-j 
instead of regarding it, as some seemed to do, 
being in itself the source of good, and therefore prt 
sumably beneficent wherever its power was felt, he 
looked upon it as beneficial only so far as it was 
necessary to prevent one man from encroaching 
upon the liberty and rights of another, and as carry- 
ing with it great possibilities of mischief and wrong, 
whenever its interference was pushed beyond its 
just limits. 

Such was Mr. Jefferson's conception of liberty and 
government which he intended should be accepted 
by this University, and be therein defended and 
propagated. It was only through the universal 
adoption of this idea that it seemed to him possible 




Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxvii 

for the newly created nation to reach the glorious 
destiny which the future had in store for it; and 
hence the importance he attached to it, and the 
unquestioning assent which he demanded for it. By 
nature the most tolerant of men, upon this point he 
was dogmatic, even to bigotry. A thorough believer 
in the inherent power of truth to triumph ultimately 
over error, he was yet unwilling to subject his favorite 
dogma to the temporary hazards of a contest. In 
one of his communications just before the University 
was thrown open to students, he expressed to one of 
his fellows upon the Board of Visitors his anxieties 
in this direction. Said he: "In most public semi- 
naries text-books are prescribed to each of the sev- 
eral schools as the norma docendi in that school ; and 
this is generally done by authority of the trustees. 
I should not propose this generally in our University, 
because I believe none of us are so much at the 
heights of science in the several branches as to under- 
take this; and, therefore, that it will better be left 
to the professors, until occasion of interference shall 
be given. But there is one branch in which we are 
the best judges, in which heresies may be taught, of 
so interesting a character to our own State, and to 
the United States, as to make it a duty in us to lay 
down the principles which shall be taught. It is 
that of government. Mr. Gilmer being withdrawn, 
we know not who his successor may be. He may be 
a Richmond lawyer, or one of that school of quondam 
federalism, now consolidation. It is our duty to 

xxviii The University of Virginia, and 

guard against the dissemination of such principles 
among our youth, and the diffusion of that poison, 
by a previous prescription of the texts to be foUowed 
in their discourses."' 

Of the fidelity heretofore of this University to the 
political theory thus entrusted to it, no doubt will 
be entertained. Its own convictions have concurred 
with the sentiments of grateful admiration for its 
father. Successive generations of the sons of the 
South have become deeply imbued with it by lessons 
received upon this spot and have greatly aided in 
making it the unchallenged popular faith throughout 
the largest part of the land. 

Shall this fidelity be continued into the indefinite 
future ? Shall Jefferson's theorj' of Liberty be forever 
cherished around his tomb ? Has the experience of a 
century vindicated its pretensions as the only sure 
foundation of popular government, or stamped upon 
it the discredit of an illusive impracticability? 
These are not uninteresting questions and they 
deserve my few remaining words. 
■ If an intelligent observer removed from any par- 
ticipation in our political strifes were to survey the 
history of our country for a centurj' with the view of 
ascertaining how far events had justified the teach- 
ings of Mr. Jefferson and his followers, he would find 
difficulty in reaching at first, at least, a favorable 
verdict. He would impute, perhaps not unjustly. 
to that peaceful policy the national hiuniliations. 

' Coirespondence of Jefferson and Cabell ; p. 339. 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxix 

"which preceded and accompanied the War of 1812 
vrith Great Britain. He would see one of the sup- 
posed conclusions of that political philosophy as 
originally drawn and carefully expressed by the great 
apostle himself in the celebrated Kentucky resolu- 
tions of 1798, and afterwards re-stated and vindi- 
cated by another illustrious son of the South, made 
the justification for a bold and deliberate attempt 
to nullify, throughout the territory' of a State, a law 
of the United States. He would see this conclusion 
at a still later period made the ground for a wide- 
spread defiance of the entire national authority, and 
the main support of a civil strife which deluged the 
land with fraternal blood. 

Ftuther reflection, however, would probably dispel 
in part, if not altogether, the unfavorable impres- 
sion. Mr. Jefferson's political system was, no doubt, 
based upon the assumption of peace. He held in 
abhorrence large standing armies and powerful 
navies, and a nation unprovided with these will 
sometimes find itself subjected to humiliation, as 
we were in the era of 1 8 1 2 , either by submitting to 
injury from a consciousness of unreadiness to make 
good a defiance, or by being suddenly overwhelmed 
by an inferior hostile force. But are nations tinpre- 
pared for war the only ones likely to be subjected to 
himiiliations ? Was England never humiliated, or 
France, or Germany? And what can be a greater 
humiliation than that of an unjust aggression upon 
the rights of others and the peace of the world so 

XXX The University of Virginia, and 

likely to be committed by those who think them- 
selves armed with resistless power? And had we 
always been armed on the land and on the sea in 
projwrtion to our power, should we have gained and 
held the glory hitherto accorded to us by civilized 
mankind of being the promoters everywhere of inter- 
national law, and the advocates of peace and justice 
among nations? And, even in respect to power 
itself, were we called upon to exhibit our strength in 
a just cause, could we under a more consolidated 
government, assemble the overwhelming forces which 
the emulation of rival States will now willingly place 
at the service of the nation ? 

For the theoretical doctrine which supported the 
claims of nullification and secession, Mr. Jefferson 
must, indeed, be held largely accountable; but this 
was never any essential part of his philosophy of free 
government, if indeed it be consistent with it. It 
concerned only the interpretation and effect of the 
particular constitutional instrument by which the 
colonies united themselves together. 

I must employ a few words here to make this more 
plain. In the great political division which took 
place soon after the adoption of the constitution. 
men arrayed themselves on the one side or the other 
according as they favored the advanced doctrines of 
popular government, or, distrusting the capacity of 
the people, inclined towards the principles and 
methods of a constitutional monarchy. The impulse 
of the movement which culminated in the French 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxxi 

Revolution, reaching these shores, stirred the sym- 
pathies and passions of both parties, the one espous- 
ing the cause of Democratic France and the other of 
monarchical England. The Federal party, alarmed 
for the public welfare, and fearful lest the license of 
the French revolutionists should be repeated on this 
side of the water, sought to strengthen authority by 
those acts of repressive Federal power, since gener- 
ally condemned, called the Alien and Sedition laws. 
The constitutional validity of these was attacked by 
Jefferson, and his argument was formulated in the 
celebrated Kentucky resolutions, in which he affirmed 
the right of each State, under the Constitution, to 
determine for itself the validity of any Federal enact- 
ment. The main question was not whether under 
a Federal government formed to secure the ends 
which ours had in view, it would be wise to delegate 
to the general government the exclusive right to 
determine the extent of its own powers, but whether 
in point of fact such a delegation was contained in 
our own constitution. Upon this point it would be 
true to say that Mr. Jefferson and his followers had 
their own way, until the appearance of the scene, at 
a later period, of those great protagonists in consti- 
tutional debate, Webster and Calhoun. In what 
condition the struggle between these renowned 
champions left the dispute I will not undertake to 

** Non nostrum tantas componere lites; " 

xxxii The University of Virginia, and 

but I may hazard the opinion that if the question 
had been made, not in 1861, but in 1788, immedi- 
ately after the adoption of the Constitution, whether 
the Union as formed by that instrument could law- 
fully treat the secession of a State as a rebellion and 
suppress it by force, few of those who had partici- 
pated in framing that instrument woiild have 
answered in the affirmative. 

Nor has that question been in any manner settled 
by the result of that civil strife which has effected 
such a profound revolution in the political and 
social world of America. I cannot admit the efficacy 
of force to settle any question of historic or scientific 
truth. Truth is eternal and immutable, and the 
warfare of those who seek to suppress it will forever 
be in vain. The question which the result of that 
strife did settle, as has been eloqviently and power- 
fully shown by a distinguished statesman and jurist 
of the South — shown, too, in pronouncing a glowing 
eulogy upon his great teacher and master, Calhoun — 
was, not whether our Constitution actually created 
a consolidated nation — nations cannot be created by- 
agreement — but whether the Federal Union, com- 
posed originally of colonies the people of which had 
been subjects of the same sovereign, and which had 
never occupied the attitude of independent States 
before the world, embracing, also, new States created 
out of territory which was the common property of 
all, could — after they had been knit together into a 
nation during the life of nearly a century by the 

Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxxiii 

thousand processes which time and nature employ 
to cement and consolidate a people — ^by trade, by 
commerce, by railways, by social and business alli- 
ances, by common perils and sufferings in war, by 
the blessings, hopes and aspirations of peace, — 
could, after all this, at the will and pleasure of one 
of its parts, be instantly and peacefully resolved, 
not into its original elements, but into supposed 
constituent parts, most of which had had no partici- 
pation in its original formation. That was a ques- 
tion which from its nature could be settled only by 
trial, and the trial has indeed forever settled that, 
and — strange thing in human history — ^neither side 
would wish the decision to be reversed. Nor should 
it be forgotten that, whatever the consequences, in 
the form of disunion or secession, the doctrine of Mr. 
Jefferson, as propoimded in the Kentucky resolu- 
tions, might possibly involve, no such project was 
ever suggested, or in any manner countenanced, by 
him. Whatever discredit may be attached to any 
suggestions, in his day, of disunion or secession 
belongs altogether to his political opponents. 

Are there any other respects in which it may be 
plausibly suggested that the political philosophy of 
Mr. Jefferson has been discredited by the teachings 
of experience? Does the General Government now 
need a larger delegation of power? Are there any 
functions hitherto performed by the States which 
should be relegated to the central authority? Do 
we need a large standing army ? Must we confront 

3cxxiv The University of Virginia, and 

the gigantic naval armaments of the European 
nations with a corresponding array? Must we 
mingle in the ambitions of the great powers of the 
world? Must we extend the area of our territorial 
dominion ? Must we look on and behold with uncon- 
cern the partitioning of Africa among the European 
powers, and the dismemberment of China? Must 
we assert before the world the might and majesty of 
seventy millions of the most energetic and pro- 
ductive people on the globe? Shall we form alli- 
ances with kindred peoples, or remain in calm and 
forbidding isolation among the nations? All these 
questions to which, if proposed in Mr. Jefferson's 
time, his teaching would have returned an answer 
in the negative, are likely to press themselves, if they 
are not already pressing themselves, upon the public 

Time, of course, does not permit me to indulge in 
any consideration of either of them; but I venture 
to express my conviction that unless the answer the 
American people make to them shall be consistent 
with those principles of which Mr. Jefferson has 
hitherto been regarded as the champion, there will 
be an end of true {xjpular government among men. 
There is — there can be — but one true basis of lib- 
erty, and that lies in constantly cherishing the dis- 
persion rather than the concentration of power. 
The individual loses something of his liberty the 
moment he clothes another with any power over 
himself. Nothing can justify the surrender except 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxxv 

the promise that by making it he better secures the 
liberty he retains. But with every new surrender 
of power there comes a peril. Power entrusted will 
sometimes be abused, and the temptation to abuse 
increases with the extent of the delegation. Liberty 
is safe when, and only when, for each delegation of 
power which is demanded a necessity is shown. 

No; the fundamental political philosophy of Mr. 
Jefferson has not been discredited by time or experi- 
ence. It never will be discredited while men retain 
a real love and a true comprehension of civil liberty. 
And never more than at the present time has there 
been a necessity for studying and teaching within 
the walls of tiniversities the true principles of repub- 
lican liberty and the practical art of applying them 
to human affairs. Recreant, indeed, would this 
University be to the fame of its founder, to the pur- 
poses for which it was established, and to its own 
obligations to present and to future times, if it 
failed to continue to maintain, not in the spirit of 
dogmatism, but of devotion to truth, those great 
principles upon which free popular government 

If anything were needed to impress upon patriotic 
minds the supreme importance of cultivating anew 
these principles and implanting in all hearts the 
determination to maintain them, it would be sup- 
plied by the extraordinary spectacle which our 
country exhibits at the present moment. We have 
volimtarily chosen to break the peace of the world 

xxxvi The University of Virginia, and 

and engage in a war which already imposes a heavy 
burden upon the industry and resources of the nation, 
and which may become enlarged into gigantic pro- 
portions — a war undertaken not to repel aggression, 
but to check the disorders and relieve the oppressions 
to which a neighboring people have been subjected. 
It is, indeed, true that nations have their duties not 
only to themselves, but to the world; and these 
must be performed at whatever hazard. If we have 
not the virtue to perform them without sacrificing 
cur own freedom, we have no right to be a republic. 
We believe, and have solemnly avowed, that we 
have taken this perilous step under the influence of 
those humane motives which civilization and human- 
ity enjoin us to obey. For the sincerity of that 
avowal we must abide the judgment of civilized 
nations, and this will largely depend upon the con- 
sistency with that declaration which our future con- 
duct shall exhibit. Even now the passion for 
national glory, growing by what it feeds upon, stim- 
ulated by the deeds of naval skill and daring on dis- 
tant seas — deeds which reflect undying lustre on the 
American name and excite the admiration of the 
world — is indulging new visions of territorial aggran- 

But have a care, Americans! These national 
duties which call upon us to raise an avenging arm 
arise only in those rare alternatives when all else has 
proved to be ineffectual, and when we have good 
reason to know that such avenging arm will be 


Thomas Jefferson, its Father xxxvii 

effectual. Have a care that among yotir ruling 
motives no place shall be allowed to the mere love of 
military and naval renown. The pathway marked 
out for the republic by its fathers was one of peace- 
ful achievement. Its mission is peace. A free 
nation can rightftilly have no other aspiration. But 
there are temptations which come with the possession 
of power. Men take pride in being the citizens of 
powerful nations, and enjoy the consciousness of 
strength. These temptations are to be resisted, for 
we may be sure that for any imdue indulgence in 
them the price will be exacted with the certainty of 
fate; and this price is grinding taxation, the oppres- 
sion of the poorer classes, the multiplication of the 
official corps, the intensifying of the struggle for the 
possession of governmental patronage and conse- 
quent spread of corruption, the increasing power of 
political bosses and chieftains, the decay of public 
and civic virtue, and the resulting danger of resorts 
to revolution. Let not our future confirm the sad 
lament of the misanthropic poet, that history has 
but one page which reads, 

" First Fre6^k>m, and then Glory — when that fails, 
Wealth, vice, corruption, — barbarism at last." 

Here, then, of all places, let the true principles of 
liberty and free government, as expoimded by Jeffer- 
son, be forever studied and taught. Let the youth 
of the land who are to resort hither here learn the true 
objects of national ambition and the methods by 


xxxviii The University of Virginia 

which they are to be reached. Let them study here 
the new problems arising from the prodigious growth 
of the nation and its rapid matena! consohdation. 
iict them be taught the true principles of legislation, 
and by what methods liberty is best reconciled with 
order and with law; and above all let them learn to 
prefer for their countrj' that renown among the 
nations which comes from the constant display of 
the love of peace and justice. 

And the ancient Commonwealth of Virginia, — to 
what nobler object can she extend her favor and 
support than the building up upoii this historic spot 
of a great university which shall be at once the home 
of the Sciences and the Arts and the nursery of polit- 
ical freedom? Outshining all her sister colonies in 
the splendor of her contribution to the galaxy of 
great names which adorns our Revolutionary his- 
tory, how can she better i>erpetuate that glory than, 
by sending forth from her own soil a new line of 
patriot statesmen? No jealousies will attend hei — 
efforts to this great end, and her sister States woulA- 
greet with delight her re-ascending star once morc^ 
blazing in the zenith of its own proper firmament. 


r»E University of Virginia, and Thomas Jef- paob 

PERSON, ITS Father. By James C. Carter, LL. D. iii 

N'oTEs ON Virginia 1-261 

An exact description of the limits and boundaries 

of the State of Virginia i 

A notice of its rivers, riviilets, and how far they 

are navigable 3 

A notice of the best Seaports of the State, and 

size of the vessels they can receive 22 

A notice of its Mountains 23 

Its Cascades and Caverns 27 

A notice of the mines and other subterraneous 

riches; its trees, plants, fruits, etc ^3 

A notice of all that can increase the progress of 

Human Knowledge 104 

The nimiber of its inhabitants 116 

The number and condition of the Militia and 

Regular Troops, and their Pay 125 

The Marine 127 

A description of the Indians established in that 

State 127 

A notice of the cotmties, cities, townships, and 

villages 146 

The constitution of the State and its several 

charters 148 

The administration of Justice and the descrip- 
tion of the laws . . . . : 179 

The Colleges and Public Establishments, the 

Roads, Buildings, etc 208 

xl Contents 

Notes on Virginia— CofUinued. 

The measures taken with regard to the estates 
and possessions of the Rebels, commonly 
called Tories 

The different religions received into Virginia. . . 

The particular customs and manners that may 
happen to be received in Virginia 

The present state of manufactures, commerce, 
interior and exterior trade 

A notice of the commercial productions par- 
tictdar to the State, and of those objects 
which the inhabitants are obliged to get from 
Europe and from other parts of the world. . . 

The weights, measures and the currency of the 
hard money. Some details relating to ex- 
change with Europe 

The public Income and Expenses 

The histories of the State, the memorials pub- 
lished in its name in the time of its being a 
colony, and the pamphlets relating to its 
interior or exterior affairs present or ancient. 

Appendix to Notes on Virginia 263 

No. I. Observations by Charles Thompson . . 

No. II. Draft of a ftmdamental Constitution 

for the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

No. III. An Act for establishing ReUgious 

Freedom, passed in the Assembly 
of Virginia in the beginning of year 

No. IV. An Appendix relative to the Mur- 
dering of Logan's Family 

No. V. Extract of a Letter from the Hon. 

Judge Innes to Thomas Jefferson . . 

Logan's speech 

Contents xli 

PPENDIX TO Notes on Virginia — Continued. p^oB 

Affidavit of John Gibson 308 

Extract of a letter from Col. Ebenezer Zane to 

the Hon. John Brown 310 

Certificate of William Huston 311 

Certificate of Jacob Newland 312 

Certificate of John Anderson 312 

Deposition of James Chambers 313 

Certificate of David Reddick 315 

Certificate of Charles Polke 315 

Declaration of the Honorable Judge Innes 316 

Declaration of William Robinson 316 

Deposition of Col. William M'Kee 318 

Certificate of James Speed, Jr. , and J. H. Dewes . 319 

Certificate of Hon. Stevens Thompson Mason . . 319 
Statement of Andrew Rogers in regard to the 

speech of Logan to Lord Dunmore 319 

Declaration of John Heckewelder 320 

Historical statement 324 

Declaration of John Sappington 327 

Certificate of Samuel M'Kee, Jr 329 

Manual of Parliamentary Practice 331-450 

Introduction ^^^ 

The Importance of Adhering to Rules 335 

Legislattu'e 338 

Privilege .' 338 

Elections 346 

Qualifications 347 

Quorum 349 

Call of the House 350 

Absence 350 

Speaker 351 

Address 352 

Committees 353 

Conmiittee of the Whole 354 

xlii Contents 

Manual of Parliamentary Practice — Continued. 

Examination of Witnesses .... 

Arrangement of Btisiness • . . 


Order Respecting Papers 

Order in Debate 

Orders of the House 





Bills, Leave to Bring in 

Bills, First Reading 

Bills, Second Reading 

Bills, Commitments 

Report of Committee 

Bill, Re-Commitment 

Bill, Report Taken Up 

Quasi Committee 

Bill, Second Reading in the House 

Reading Papers 

Privileged Questions 

The Previous Question 


Division of the Question 

Co-existing Questions 

Equivalent Questions 

The Question 

Bill, Third Reading 

Division of the House 



Bills Sent to the Other House 

Amendments between the Houses 




Manual op Parliamentary Practice — Continued, 





A Session 









{ • 

. I 

::.;'-l -'*:■. n-'r!: 


Jefferson at Forty-six Frontispiece 

Photogravure reproduced from the Bust of Houdon in 
the Rooms of the New York Historical Society. 


Harper's Ferry, Virginia xliv 

Reproduced from an Old Engraving. 

The Natural Bridge of Virginia 30 

Reproduced from a Photograph. 

Fac-simile Inscriptions 124 

Photo-engraving of Inscriptions written by Jefferson on 
the Fly-leaves of two Presentation Copies of the French 
Edition of "Notes on Virginia." 

James Madison 178 

Reproduced from the Original Painting by Gilbert Stuart. 

James Monroe 244 

Reproduced from an Original Painting. 

Present Monument over Jefferson's Tomb 262 

Reproduced from The Monument that was put up at Mon- 
ticello in place of the one taken away to Columbia, Mo. 

John Adams 330 

Reproduced from the Original Painting by G. P. A. Healy. 



" Notes on Virginia" was written by Jefferson in answer to inquiries 
propounded to him by the Marquis de BarW-Marbois, then Secretary 
of the French Legation in Philadelphia. Jefferson had aoo copies 
privately printed in Paris in 1784 (dated 1782) for distribution among 
*>is friends in Europe and America, No more authentic account could 
he given as to the origin of the " Notes on Virginia" than the account 
Jefferson gives us himself in his Autobiography. This account is as 

"Before I had left America, that is to say, in the year of 1781, 1 
W received a letter from M. de Marbois. of the French legation in 
Piiladelphia, informing me that he had been instructed by his govem- 
""fnt to obtain such statistical accounts of the different States of our 
''"ion, as might be useful for their information; and addressing to 
'"^ a number of queries relative to the State of Virginia. I had 
^vays made it a practice, whenever an opportunity occurred, of 
"''ta.ining any information of our country which might be of use to 
■"s in any station, public or private, to commit it to writing. These 
ni^«Tioranda. were on loose papers, bundled up without order, and 
(uSicull of recurrence, when I had occasion for a particular one. 
' l^hought this a good occasion to embody their substance, which I 
™^ in the order of M. Marbois's queries, so as to answer his wish, 
sod to arrange them for my own use. Some friends, to whom they 
wei-e occasionally communicated, wished for copies ; but their volume 
fCTt<lering this too laborious by hand, 1 proposed to get a few printed 
'"f their gratification, I was asked such a price, however, as exceeded 
'"^ importance of the object. On my arrival at Paris, I found it 
could be done for a fourth of what I had been asked here. I, therefore, 
™»Tected and enlarged them, and had two hundred copies printed, 
•"xier the title of 'Notes on Virginia.' I gave a very few copies to 
^'fne particular persons in Europe, and sent the rest to my friends 
'" America. An European copy, by the death of the owner, got into 
'he hards of a bookseller, who engaged its translation, and, when 
•^ady for the press, conmiunicated his intentions and manuscript to 
"^e, suggesting that I should correct it without asking any other 
permission for the publication. I never had seen so wretched an 
attempt at translation. Interverted, abridged, mutilated, and often 
Kvernng the sense of ttu! original, I found it a blotch of errors from 


Introductory Notes 

beginning to end. I corrected some of the most material, and, in tbaC^-^ 
form, it was printed in French. A London bookseller, on seeing the g 

translation, requested me to permit him to print the English original 

I thought it best to do so. to let the world see that it was not really 

so bad as the French translation had made it appear. And this ia^a 
the true history of that publication." 

The English publisher referred to by Jeflerson is John Stockdale, 
who published an edition of the" Notes on Virginia" in 1787. Jeffer- 
son's preface to this English edition was as follows: 

"The following Notes were written in Virginia in the year 1781, 
and somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, in answer 
to queries proposed to the Author, by a Foreigner of Distinction, then 
residing among us. The subjects are all treated imperfectly; some 
scarcely touched on. To apologize for this by developing the circum- 
stances of the time and place of their composition, would be to open 
wounds which have already bled enough. To these circumstances 
some of their imperfections may with truth be ascribed; the great 
mass to the want of information and want of talents in the writer. 
He had a few copies printed, which he gave among his friends; and a 
translation of them has been lately published in France, but with such 
alterations as the laws of the press in that country rendered necessary. 
They are now offered tothe public in their original fonn and language." 

This edition included three "appendices" that Jefferson added aiter 
the publication of the original edition, and it was the first edition to 
announce the name of the author. It was at once reprinted in 
America, and apparently without Jefferson's consent. A German 
translation was issued in 1789. Another American reprint ot the 
English edition seems to have been made with Jefferson's consent in 
1794. During the years ot 1757 and 1798 Jefferson wrote an "Appen- 
dix" relative to the murder of Logan's family, which was added to 
the edition of 1800. All subsequent editions, except that of 1853, are 
reprints of the text ot 1787, supplemented by the "Appendix" relating 
to Logan, 

Jefferson left at his death a printed copy of his "Notes on Virginia" 
containing a revision ot the text and many manuscript notes. This 
copy was transferred by Jefferson's literary executor, Thomas Jefferson 
Randolph, to J. W. Randolph & Co., who based their edition ot 1853 
on Jefferson's final revision. 

In thepretaceof this edition the publishers, incontrast to Jefferson's 
low estimate of his work, declared that "the beauty of style, the 
accuracy of information, and the scientific research displayed in the 
' Notes ' have made them a permanent part ot our national literature." 





n exact description of the limits and boundaries of 

the State of Virginia? 

Virginia is bounded on the east by the Atlantic; 
fDn the north by a line of latitude crossing the east- 
em shore through Watkin's Point, being about 37^ 
57' north latitude; from thence by a straight line to 
Cinquac, near the mouth of Potomac; thence by 
the Potomac, which is common to Virginia and 
Maryland, to the first fotmtain of its northern 
branch; thence by a meridian line, passing through 
that foimtain till it intersects a line running east 
and west, in latitude 39^ 43' 42.4'' which divides 
Maryland from Pennsylvania, and which was marked 
by Messrs. Mason and Dixon; thence by that line, 
and a continuation of it westwardly to the comple- 
tion of five degrees of longitude from the eastern 
boundary of Pennsylvania, in the same latitude, 
and thence by a meridian line to the Ohio; on the 

VOL. II — I (l) 

Jefferson's Works 

west by the Ohio and Mississippi, to latitude 36° 30'* 
north, and on the south by the line of latitude lasl 
mentioned. By admeasurements through nearly 
the whole of this last line, and supplying the un- 
measured parts from good data, the Atlantic anc3 
Mississippi are foimd in this latitude to be seven 
hundred and fifty-eight miles distant, equal to 30° 
38' of longitude, reckoning fifty-five miles and three 
thousand one hundred and forty-four feet to the 
degree. This being our comprehension of longi- 
tude, that of our latitude, taken between this and 
Mason and Dixon's line, is 3° 13' 42.4" equal to two 
hundred and twenty-three and one-third miles, 
supposing a degree of a great circle to be sixty-nine 
miles, eight hundred and sixty-four feet, as com- 
puted by Cassina. These boundaries include an 
area somewhat triangular of one hundred and 
twenty-one thousand five hundred and twenty-five 
square miles, whereof seventy-nine thousand six 
hundred and fifty lie westward of the Alleghany 
mountains, and fifty-seven thousand and thirty- 
four westward of the meridian of the mouth of the 
Great Kanhaway. This State is therefore one- 
third larger than the islands of Great Britain and 
Ireland, which are reckoned at eighty-eight thou- 
sand three htmdred and fifty-seven square miles. 

These limits result from, i. The ancient charters 
from the crown of England. 2. The grant of Mary- 
land to the Lord Baltimore, and the subsequent 
determinations of the British court as to the extent 


Notes on Virginia 3 

of that grant, 3. The grant of Pennsylvania to 
WiUiam Penn, and a compact between the general 
assemblies of the commonwealths of Virginia and 
Pennsylvania as to the extent of that grant. 4. 
The grant of Carolina, and actual location of its 
northern boimdary, by consent of both parties. 5. 
The treaty of Paris of 1763. 6. The confirmation 
of the charters of the neighboring States by the 
convention of Virginia at the time of constituting 
their commonwealth. 7. The cession made by Vir- 
ginia to Congress of all the lands to which they had 
title on the north side of the Ohio. 


A notice of its rivers, rivulets, and how jar they are 

navigable f 

An inspection of a map of Virginia, will give a 
better idea of the geography of its rivers, than any 
description in writing. Their navigation may be 
imperfectly noted. 

Roanoke, so far as it lies within the State, is no- 
where navigable but for canoes, or light batteaux; 
and even for these in such detached parcels as to 
have prevented the inhabitantSsfrom availing them- 
selves of it at all. 

James River, and its waters, afford navigation as 
follows : 

The whole of Elizabeth River, the lowest of those 
which nm into James River, is a harbor, and would 

Jefferson's Works 

contain upwards of three hundred ships. The 
channel is from one hundred and fifty to two hun- 
dred fathoms wide, and at common flood tide affords 
eighteen feet water to Norfolk. The Stafford, a 
sixty gun ship, went there, Hghtening herself to 
cross the bar at Sowel's Point. The Fier Rodrigue, 
pierced for sixty-four guns, and carrying fifty, went 
there without lightening. Craney Island, at the 
mouth of this river, commands its channel tolerably 

Nansemond River is navigable to Sleepy Hole for 
vessels of two hundred and fifty tons ; to Suffolk for 
those of one hundred tons ; and to Milner's for those 
of twenty-five. ,^^ 

Pagan Creek affords eight or ten feet water ^| 
Smithfield, which admits vessels of twenty tons. ^H 

Chickahoniiny has at its mouth a bar, on which is 
only twelve feet water at common flood tide. Ves- 
sels passing that, may go eight miles up the river; 
those of ten feet draught may go four miles further, 
and those of six tons burden twenty miles further. 

Appojnaltox may be navigated as far as Broad- 
ways, by any vessel which has crossed Harrison's 
bar in James River; it keeps eight or ten feet water 
a mile or two higher up to Fisher's bar, and four 
feet on that and upwards to Petersburg, where all 
navigation ceases. 

James River itself affords a harbor for vessels of 
any size in Hampton Road, but not in safety through 
the whole winter; and there is navigable water for 

Notes on Virginia 5 

tlaem as far as Mulberry Island. A forty gun ship 
goes to Jamestown, and, lightening herself, may 
pass Harrison's bar; on which there is only fifteen 
feet water. Vessels of two hundred and fifty tons 
may go to Warwick; those of one hundred and 
twenty-five go to Rocket's, a mile below Richmond ; 
from thence is about seven feet water to Richmond ; 
arid about the centre of the town, four feet and a 
tialf, where the navigation is interrupted by falls, 
which in a course of six miles, descend about eighty- 
eight feet perpendicular; above these it is resumed 
in canoes and batteaux, and is prosecuted safely 
and advantageously to within ten miles of the Blue 
Ridge; and even through the Blue Ridge a ton 
weight has been brought; and the expense would 
not be great, when compared with its object, to open 
a tolerable navigation up Jackson's river and Car- 
penter's creek, to within twenty-five miles of How- 
ard's creek of Green Briar, both of which have then 
water enough to float vessels into the Great Kanha- 
way. In some future state of population I think it 
possible that its navigation may also be made to 
interlock with that of the Potomac, and through 
that to communicate by a short portage with the 
Ohio. It is to be noted that this river is called in 
the maps James River, only to its confluence with 
the Rivanna; thence to the Blue Ridge it is called 
the Fluvanna; and thence to its source Jackson's 
river. But in common speech, it is called James 
River to its sotu'ce. 

6 Jefferson's Works 

The Rivanna, a branch of James River, is navij 
ble for canoes and batteanx to its intersection wil 
the South- West mountains, which is about twenty^^^^r- 
two miles; and may easily be opened to na vigatio^cr *n 
through these mountains to its fork above Cham^- 

York River, at Yorktown, affords the best harbc^ir^r 
in the State for vessels of the largest size. The 

there narrows to the width of a mile, and is container- -d 
within very high banks, close under which vessel^K 

may ride. It holds four fathom water at high tid e 

for twenty-five miles above York to the mouth c^f 
Poropotank, where the river is a mile and a half wid^^, 
and the channel only seventy-five fathom, and pass - 
ing under a high bank. At the confluence of Patnufm- 
key and Mattapony, it is reduced to three fathom 
depth, which continues up Pamunkey to Ciunber- 
land, where the width is one htmdred yards, and up 
Mattapony to within two miles of Frazier's ferry, 
where it becomes two and a half fathom deep, and 
holds that about five miles. Pamunkey is then 
capable of navigation for loaded flats to Brockman's 
bridge, fifty miles above Hanover town, and Matta- 
pony to Downer's bridge, seventy miles above its 

Piankatank, the little rivers making out of Mch- 
jack Bay and those of the eastern shore, receive only 
very small vessels, and these can but enter them. 

Rappahannock affords four fathom water to Hobb's 
hole, and two fathom from thence. to Fredericksburg. 

Notes on Virginia 

Potomac is seven and a half miles wide at the 
mouth; four and a half at Nomony bay; three at 
Aquia; one and a half at Hallowing point; one and 
a quarter at Alexandria. Its soundings are seven 
fathom at the mouth ; five at St. George's island ; four 
a,nd a half at Lower Matchodic; three at Swan's 
point, and thence up to Alexanderia ; thence ten feet 
"Water to the falls, which are thirteen miles above 
Alexandria. These falls are fifteen miles in length, 
and of very great descent, and the navigation above 
them for batteaux and canoes is so much interrupted 
as to be little used. It is, however, used in a small 
degree up the Cohongoronta branch as far as fort 
Cumberland, which was at the mouth of Willis's creek 
and is capable, at no great expense, of being rendered 
Terv practicable. The Shenandoah branch inter- 
locks with James river about the Blue Ridge, and 
ma)- perhaps in future be opened. 

The Mississippi will be one of the principal chan- 
nels of future commerce for the country westward 
of the Alleghany. From the mouth of this river 
to where it receives the Ohio, is one thousand miles 
by water, but only five hundred by land, passing 
through the Chickasaw country. From the mouth 
of the Ohio to that of the Missouri, is two himdred 
^HVid thirty miles by water, and one hundred and 
^pforty by land, from thence to the mouth of the Illi- 
nois river, is about twenty-five miles. The Missis- 
sippi, below the mouth of the Missouri, is always 
nmddy, and aboimding with sand bars, which 

8 Jefferson's Works 

frequently change their places. However, it carries 
fifteen feet water to the mouth of the Ohio, to which 
place it is from one and a half to two miles wide, 
and thence to Kaskaskia from one mile to a mile 
and a quarter wide. Its current is so rapid, that it 
never can be stemmed by the force of the wind alone, 
acting on sails. Any vessel, however, navigated 
with oars, may come up at any time, and receive 
much aid from the wind. A batteau passes from 
the mouth of Ohio to the mouth of Mississippi in 
three weeks, and is from two to three months getting 
up again. During its floods, which are periodical 
as those of the Nile, the largest vessels may pass 
down it, if their steerage can be insured. These 
floods begin in April, and the river returns into its 
banks early in August. The intmdation extends 
further on the western than eastern side, covering 
the lands in some places for fifty miles from its banks. 
Above the mouth of the Missouri it becomes much 
such a river as the Ohio, like it clear and gentle in 
its current, not quite so wide, the period of its floods 
nearly the same, but not rising to so great a height. 
The streets of the village at Cohoes are not more 
than ten feet above the ordinary level of the water, 
and yet were never overflowed. Its bed deepens 
every year. Cohoes, in the memory of many 
people now living, was insulated by every flood of 
the river. What was the eastern channel has now 
become a lake, nine miles in length and one in width, 
ir'w which the river at this day never flows. This 

Notes on Virginia 9 

river yields turtle of a peculiar kind, perch, trout, 
gar, pike, mullets, herrings, carp, spatula-fish of 
fifty pounds weight, cat-fish of one hundred pounds 
Weight, buffalo fish, and sturgeon. Alligators or 
crocodiles have been seen as high up as the Acansas. 
It also abounds in herons, cranes, ducks, brant, 
geese, and swans. Its passage is commanded by a 
fort established by this State, five miles below the 
rnouth of the Ohio, and ten miles above the Caro- 
lina boundary. 

The Missouri, since the treaty of Paris, the Illinois 
^nd northern branches of the Ohio, since the ces- 
sion to Congress, are no longer within our limits. 
"Yet having been so heretofore, and still opening to 
xis channels of extensive commimication with the 
"western and north-western cotmtry, they shall be 
aioted in their order. 

The Missouri is, in fact, the principal river, con- 
tributing more to the common stream than does the 
Mississippi, even after its jimction with the Illinois. 
It is remarkably cold, muddy, and rapid. Its over- 
flowings are considerable. They happen during 
the months of Jime and July- Their commence- 
ment being so much later than those of the Missis- 
sippi, would induce a belief that the sources of the 
Missouri are northward of those of the Mississippi, 
unless we suppose that the cold increases again with 
the ascent of the land from the Mississippi west- 
wardly. That this ascent is great, is proved by the 
rapidity of the river. Six miles above the mouth, 

Jefferson's Works 


it is brought within the compass of a quarter of a 
mile's width; yet the Spanish merchants at Pancore, 
or St. Louis, say they go two thousand miles up it. 
It heads far westward of the Rio Norte, or North 
River, There is, in the villages of Kaskaskia, 
Cohoes, and St. Vincennes, no inconsiderable quan- 
tity of plate, said to have been plundered during 
the last war by the Indians from the churches and 
private houses of Santa F6, on the North river, and 
brought to the villages for sale. From the mouth 
of the Ohio to Santa F6 are forty days journey, or 
about one thousand miles. What is the shortest 
distance between the navigable waters of the Mis- 
souri, and those of the North river, or how far this 
is navigable above Sante F6, I could never leam. 
From Santa F6 to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico 
is about twelve hundred miles. The road from 
New Orleans to Mexico crosses this river at the post 
of Rio Norte, eight hundred miles below Santa Fe, 
and from this post to New Orleans is about twelve 
himdred miles; thus making two thousand miles 
between Santa F^ and NewOrleans, passing down the 
North river. Red river, and Mississippi; whereas it 
is two thousand two hundred and thirty through 
the Missouri and Mississippi. From the same post 
of Rio Norte, passing near the mines of La Sierra and 
Laiguana, which are between the North river, and 
the river Salina to Sartilla, is three hundred and 
seventy-five miles, and from thence, passing the 
mines of Charcas, Zaccatecas, and Potosi, to the 


Notes on Virginia ii 

city of Mexico, is three hundred and seventy-five 
miles; in all, one thousand five hundred and fifty 
miles from Santa F6 to the city of Mexico. From 
New Orleans to the city of Mexico is about one 
thousand nine hundred and fifty miles; the roads 
after setting out from the Red river, near Natchi- 
toches, keeping generally parallel with the coast, 
and about two htmdred miles from it, till it enters 
the city of Mexico. 

The Illinois is a fine river, clear, gentle, and without 
rapids; insomuch that it is navigable for batteaux 
to its source. From thence is a portage of two miles 
only to the Chicago, which affords a batteau naviga- 
tion of sixteen miles to its entrance into lake Michi- 
gan. The Illinois, about ten miles above its mouth, 
is three htmdred yards wide. 

The Kaskaskia is one htmdred yards wide at its 
entrance into the Mississippi, and preserves that 
breadth to the Btiffalo plains, seventy miles above. 
So far, also, it is navigable for loaded batteatix, and 
perhaps much further. It is not rapid. 

The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its 
ctirrent gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth 
and tmbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance 
only excepted. 

It is one-qtiarter of a mile wide at Fort Pitt, five 
hundred yards at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, . 
one mile and twenty-five poles at Louisville, one- 
quarter of a mile on the rapids three or fotir miles 
below Louisville, half a mile where the low cotmtry 


Jefferson's Works 

begins, which is twenty miles above Green river, a 
mile and a quarter at the receipt of the Tennessee, 
and a mile wide at the mouth. 

Its length, as measured according to its meanders 
by Captain Hutchins, is as follows: — 

From Fort Pitt 

To Log's Town i8)4 

Big Beaver Creek loj^ 

Little Beaver Creek 13^^ 

Yellow Creek 1 1 3:^ 

Two Creeks 2 1 J^ 

Long Reach 53 J^ 

End Long Reach i6J^ 

Muskingum ^5}^ 

Little Kanhaway 1 2 J^ 

Hockhocking 16 

Great Kanhaway ^2}^ 

Guiandot 4^% 

Sandy Creek 14^^ 

Sioto 48Ji 

Little Miami ia6^ 

Licking Creek 8 

Great Miami 26?^ 

Big Bones 32 H 

Kentucky 44 Ji 

Rapids 77Ji 

Low Country ^55 Ji 

Buflfalo River 64}^ 

Wabash 97 Ji 

Big Cave 42 Ji 

Shawanee River S^J^ 

Cherokee River 13 

Massac 11 

Mississippi 46 


In common winter and spring tides it affords fif- 
teen feet water to Louisville, ten feet to Le Tarte's 
rapids, forty miles above the mouth of the great 
Kanhaway, and a sufficiency at all times for light 
batteaux and canoes to Fort Pitt. The rapids are in 
latitude 38° 8'. The inundations of this river begin 
about the last of March, and subside in July. Dtu"- 
ing these, a first-rate man-of-war may be carried 
from Louisville to New Orleans, if the sudden turns 
of the river and the strength of its current will admit 
a safe steerage. The rapids at Louisville descend 
about thirty feet in a length of a mile and a half. 

Notes on Virginia 13 

The bed of the river there is a soHd r(3ck, and is 
divided by an island into two branches, the south- 
em of which is about two hundred yards wide, and 
is dry four months in the year. The bed of the 
northern branch is worn into channels by the con- 
stant course of the water, and attrition of the pebble 
stones carried on with that, so as to be passable for 
batteaux through the greater part of the year. Yet 
it is thought that the southern arm may be the most 
easily opened for constant navigation. The rise of 
the waters in these rapids does not exceed ten or 
twelve feet. A part of this island is so high as to 
have been never overflowed, and to command the 
settlement at Louisville, which is opposite to it. 
The fort, however, is situated at the head of the 
falls. The ground on the south side rises very 

The Tennessee, Cherokee, or Hogohege river, is 
six hundred yards wide at its mouth, a quarter of a 
mile at the mouth of Holston, and two hundred 
yards at Chotee, which is twenty miles above Hol- 
ston, and three hundred miles above the mouth of 
the Tennessee. This river crosses the southern 
botmdary of Virginia, fifty-eight miles from the 
Mississippi. Its current is moderate. It is navi- 
gable for loaded boats of any burden to the Muscle 
shoals, where the river passes through the Cumber- 
land motmtain. These shoals are six or eight miles 
long, passable downwards for loaded canoes, but 
not upwards, tmless there be a swell in the river. 

14 Jefferson's Works 

Above these the navigation for loaded canoes and 
batteaux continues to the Long island. This river 
has its inundations also. Above the Chickamogga 
towns is a whirlpool called the Sucking-pot, which 
takes in trunks of trees or boats, and throws them 
out again half a mile below. It is avoided by keep- 
ing very close to the bank, on the south side. There 
are but a few miles portage between a branch of this 
river and the navigable waters of the river Mobile, 
which nms into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Cumberland, or Shawanee river, intersects the 
botmdary between Virginia and North Carolina 
sixty-seven miles from the Mississippi, and again 
one hundred and ninety-eight miles from the same 
river, a little above the entrance of Obey's river into 
the Cumberland. Its Clear fork crosses the same 
boundary about three hundred miles from the Mis- 
sissippi. Cumberland is a very gentle stream, 
navigable for loaded batteaux eight htmdred miles, 
without interruption; then intervene some rapids 
of fifteen miles in length, after which it is agaia 
navigable seventy miles upwards, which brings yoia. 
within ten miles of the Cumberland moimtains. It 
is about one hundred and twenty yards wide througti. 
its whole course, from the head of its navigation to 
its mouth. 

The Wabash is a very beautiful river, four hun.- 
dred yards wide at the mouth, and three himdred at 
St. Vincennes, which is a post one himdred mil^ 
above the mouth, in a direct line. Within 

Notes on Virginia 15 

spa.ce there are two small rapids, which give very 
little obstruction to the navigation. It is four 
hixridred yards wide at the mouth, and navigable 
thirty leagues upwards for canoes and small boats. 
From the mouth of Maple river to that of Eel river 
is about eighty miles in a direct line, the river con- 
tinuing navigable, and from one to two hundred 
yards in width. The Eel river is one hundred and 
fifty yards wide, and affords at all times navigation 
for periaguas, to within eighteen miles of the Miami 
of the Lake. The Wabash, from the mouth of Eel 
ri^v-er to Little river, a distance of fifty miles direct, 
is interrupted with frequent rapids and shoals, 
wlxich obstruct the navigation, except in a swell. 
L-ittle river affords navigation during a swell to 
within three miles of the Miami, which thence 
afiEords a similar navigation into Lake Erie, one 
hiindred miles distant in a direct line. The Wa- 
l^ash overflows periodically in correspondence with 
t^he Ohio, and in some places two leagues from its 

Oreen River is navigable for loaded batteaux at all 
tirnes fifty miles upwards; but it is then interrupted 
by impassable rapids, above which the navigation 
^gain commences and continues good thirty or forty 

Itriiles to the mouth of Barren river. 
Kentucky River is ninety yards wide at the mouth, 
and also at Boonsborough, eighty miles above. It 
affords a navigation for loaded batteaux one hundred 
and eighty miles in a direct line, in the winter tides. 


i6 Jefferson's Works 

The Great Miami of the Ohio, is two htind 
yards wide at the mouth. At the Piccawee towni 

seventy-five miles above, it is reduced to thirt; 

yards; it is, nevertheless, navigable for load 
canoes fifty miles above these towns. The portag"^ 
from its western branch into the Miami of Lakre 
Erie, is five miles ; that from its eastern branch into 
Sandusky river, is of nine miles. 

Salt River is at all times navigable for loaded 
batteaux seventy or eighty miles. It is eighty 
yards wide at its mouth, and keeps that width to 
its fork, twenty-five miles above. 

The Little Miami of the Ohio, is sixty or seventy 
yards wide at its mouth, sixty miles to its source, 
and affords no navigation. 

The Sioto is two hundred and fifty yards wide at 
its mouth, which is in latitude 38° 22', and at the 
Saltlick towns, two himdred miles above the mouth, 
it is yet one himdred yards wide. To these towns 
it is navigable for loaded batteaux, and its eastern 
branch affords navigation almost to its source. 

Great Sandy River is about sixty yards wide, and 
navigable sixty miles for loaded batteaux. 

Guiandot is about the width of the river last men- 
tioned, but is more rapid. It may be navigated by 
canoes sixty miles. 

The Great Kanhaway is a river of considerable 
note for the fertility of its lands, and still more, as 
leading towards the head waters of James river. 
Nevertheless, it is doubtful whether its great and 

Notes on Virginia 17 

numerotis rapids will admit a navigation, but at an 
expense to which it will require ages to render its 
inhabitants equal. The great obstacles begin at 
what are called the Great Falls, ninety miles above 
the mouth, below which are only five or six rapids, 
and these passable, with some difficulty, even at 
low water. From the falls to the mouth of Green- 
briar is one himdred miles, and thence to the lead 
mines one htmdred and twenty. It is two hundred 
and eighty yards wide at its mouth. 

Hockhocking is eighty yards wide at its mouth, 
and yields navigation for loaded batteaux to the 
Press-place, sixty miles above its mouth. 

The Little Kanhaway is one hundred and fifty 
yards wide at the mouth. It yields a navigation of 
ten miles only. Perhaps its northern branch, called 
Junius' creek, which interlocks with the western 
of Monongahela, may one day admit a shorter pas- 
sage from the latter into the Ohio. 

The Muskingum is two hundred and eighty yards 
wide at its mouth, and two hundred yards at the 
lower Indian towns, one himdred and fifty miles 
upwards. It is navigable for small batteaux to 
within one mile of a navigable part of Cuyahoga 
river, which runs into Lake Erie. 

At Fort Pitt the river Ohio loses its name, branch- 
ing into the Monongahela and Alleghany. 

The Monongahela is four hundred yards wide at 
its mouth- From thence is twelve or fifteen miles 
to the mouth of Yohogany, where it is three htmdred 

VOL. II — 2 

Jefferson's Works 

yards wide. Thence to Redstone by water is fifty 
miles, by land thirty. Then to the mouth of Cheat 
river by water forty miles, by land twenty-eight, 
the width continuing at three hundred yards, and 
the navigation good for boats. Thence the width 
is about two hundred yards to the western fork, 
fifty miles higher, and the navigation frequently 
interrupted by rapids, which, however, with a swell 
of two or three feet, become very passable for boats. 
It then admits light boats, except in dry seasons, 
sixty-five miles further to the head of Tygart's 
valley, presenting only some small rapids and falls 
of one or two feet perpendicular, and lessening it its 
width to twenty yards. The Western fork is navi- 
gable in the winter ten or fifteen miles towards the 
nothern of the Little Kanhaway, and will admit a 
good wagon road to it. The Yohogany is the prin- 
cipal branch of this river. It passes through the 
Laurel mountain, about thirty miles from its mouth; 
is so far from three hundred to one hundred and fifty 
yards wide, and the navigation much obstructed in 
dry weather by rapids and shoals. In its pass^e 
through the mountain it makes very great falls, 
admitting no navigation for ten miles to the Turkey 
Foot. Thence to the Great Crossing, about twenty 
miles, it is again navigable, except in dry seasons, 
and at this place is two hundred yards wide. The 
sources of this river are divided from those of the 
Potomac by the Alleghany mountain. Prom the 
falls, where it intersects the Laurel mountain, to 


Notes on Virginia ^9 

Fort Cumberland, the head of the navigation on 
the Potomac, is forty miles of very motmtainous 
road. Wills' creek, at the mouth of which was Fort 
Cumberland, is thirty or forty yards wide, but affords 
no navigation as yet. Cheat river, another con- 
siderable branch of the Monongahela, is two hundred 
yards wide at its mouth, and one hundred yards at 
the Dunkard's settlement, fifty miles higher. It is 
navigable for boats, except in dry seasons. The 
boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania crosses 
it about three or four miles above its mouth. 

The Alleghany river, with a slight swell, affords 
navigation for light batteaux to Venango, at the 
mouth of French Creek, where it is two htmdred 
yards wide, and is practised even to Le Boeuf , from 
whence there is a portage of fifteen miles to Presque 
Isle on the Lake Erie. 

The country watered by the Mississippi and its 
eastern branches, constitutes five-eighths of the 
United States, two of which five-eighths are occupied 
by the Ohio and its waters ; the residuary streams 
which run into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and 
the St. Lawrence, water the remaining three-eighths. 

Before we quit the subject of the western waters, 
we will take a view of their principal connections 
with the Atlantic. These are three; the Hudson 
river, the Potomac, and the Mississippi itself. Down 
the last will pass all heavy commodities. But the 
navigation through the Gulf of Mexico is so danger- 
ous, and that up the Mississippi so difficult and tedious, 

20 Jefferson's Works 

that it is thought probable that European merchan- 
dise will not return through that channel. It is 
most likely that flour, timber, and other heavy 
articles will be floated on rafts, which will them- 
selves be an article for sale as well as their loading, 
the navigators returning by land, or in light batteaux. 
There will, therefore, be a competition between the 
Hudson and Potomac rivers for the residue , of the 
commerce of all the country westward of Lake Erie, 
on the waters of the lakes, of the Ohio, and upper 
parts of the Mississippi. To go to New York, that 
part of the trade which comes from the lakes ot 
their waters, must first be brought into Lake Erie- 
Between Lake Superior and its waters and Huroai 
are the rapids of St. Mary, which will permit boat5 
to pass, but not larger vessels. Lakes Huron and 
Michigan afford communication with Lake Erie by 
vessels of eight feet draught. That part of the trad^ 
which comes from the waters of the Mississippi must 
pass from them through some portage into the 
waters of the lakes. The portage from the Illinois 
river into a water of Michigan is of one mile only. 
From the Wabash, Miami, Muskingum, or Alleghany, 
are ix)rtages into the waters of Lake Erie, of from 
one to fifteen miles. When the commodities are 
brought into, and have passed through Lake Erie 
there is between that and Ontario an interruptior 
by the falls of Niagara, where the portage is of eighi 
miles; and between Ontario and the Hudson rive 
are portages at the falls of Onondago, a little ahovi 

Notes on Virginia 21 

Oswego, of a quarter of a mile; from Wood creek 
to the Mohawks river two miles; at the little falls 
of the Mohawks river half a mile ; and from Schenec- 
tady to Albany sixteen miles. Besides the increase 
of expense occasioned by frequent change of carriage, 
there is an increased risk of pillage produced by 
committing merchandise to a greater number of 
hands successively. The Potomac offers itself tmder 
the following circumstances: For the trade of the 
lakes and their waters westward of Lake Erie, when 
it shall have entered that lake, it must coast along 
its southern shore, on accotmt of the number and 
excellence of its harbors; the northern, though 
shortest, having few harbors, and these imsafe. Hav- 
ing reached Cuyahoga, to proceed on to New York 
it will have eight hundred and twenty-five miles 
and five portages; whereas it is but four hundred 
and twenty-five miles to Alexandria, its emporium 
on the Potomac, if it turns into the Cuyahoga, and 
passes through that. Big Beaver, Ohio, Yohogany, 
(or Monongahela and Cheat,) and Potomac, and 
there are but two portages; the first of which, be- 
tween Cuyahoga and Beaver, may be removed by 
uniting the sources of these waters, which are lakes 


in the neighborhood of each other, and in a cham- 
paign coimtry; the other from the waters of Ohio 
to Potomac will be from fifteen to forty miles, accord- 
ing to the trouble which shall be taken to approach 
the two navigations. For the trade of the Ohio, or 
that which shall come into it from its own waters 

22 Jefferson's Works 

or the Mississippi, it is nearer through the Potomac^ 
to Alexandria than to New York by five himdredL 
and eighty miles, and it is interrupted by one port — 
age only. There is another circumstance of differ — 
ence, too. The lakes themselves never freeze, but th^ 
communications between them freeze, and the Hud — 
son river is itself shut up by the ice three months i 
the year; whereas the channel to the Chesapeak 
leads directly into a warmer climate. The southern, 
parts of it very rarely freeze at all, and whenever 
the northern do, it is so near the sources of the rivers, 
that the frequent floods to which they are there 
liable, break up the ice immediately, so that vessels 
may pass through the whole winter, subject only to 
accidental and short delays. Add to all this, that 
in case of war with our neighbors, the Anglo-Ameri- 
cans or the Indians, the route to New York becomes 
a frontier through almost its whole length, and all 
commerce through it ceases from that moment. But 
the channel to New York is already known to prac- 
tice, whereas the upper waters of the Ohio and the 
Potomac, and the great falls of the latter, are yet to be 
cleared of their fixed obstructions. See Appendix (A.) 


A notice of the best Seaports of the State, and how big 

are the vessels they can receive ? 

Having no ports but our rivers and creeks, this 
Query has been answered under the preceding one. 

Notes on Virginia 



A notice of its Mountains ? 

For the particular geography of our mountains I 
'^iriust refer to Fry and Jefferson's map of Virginia; 
^-3id to Evans' analysis of this map of America, for 
^ more philosophical view of them than is to be 
^ound in any other work. It is worthy of notice, that 
<i>ur moimtains are not solitary and scattered con- 
fusedly over the face of the country; but that they 
<2»mmence at about one hundred and fifty miles from 
^he sea-coast, are disposed in ridges, one behind 
■snother, running nearly parallel with the sea-coast, 
"though rather approaching it as they advance north- 
eastwardly. To the south-west, as the tract of coun- 
Llxy between the sea-coast and the Mississippi be- 
»mes narrower, the mountains converge into a 
ridge, which, as it approaches the Gulf of 
I Mexico, subsides into plain country, and gives rise 
f to some of the waters of that gulf, and particularly 
I to a river called the Apalachicola, probably from 
I the Apalachies, an Indian nation formerly residing 
on it. Hence the mountains giving rise to that 
river, and seen from its various parts, were called 
the Apalachian mountains, being in fact the end or 
termination only of the great ridges passing through 
the continent. European geographers, however, 
extended the name northwardly as far as the moun- 
tains extended; some giving it, after their separa- 
tion into different ridges, to the Blue Ridge, others 

24 Jefferson's Works 

to the North Mountain, others to the Alleghan, 3 
others to the Laurel Ridge, as may be seen by th^ir 
different maps. But the fact I believe is, that no«ne 
of these ridges were ever known by that name 't^ 
the inhabitants, either native or emigrant, but as 
they saw them so called in European maps. In th^ 
same direction, generally, are the veins of limestone, 
coal, and other minerals hitherto discovered; and 
so range the falls of our great rivers. But the 
courses of the great rivers are at right angles with 
these. James and Potomac penetrate through all 
the ridges of mountains eastward of the Alleghany; 
that is, broken by no water course. It is in fact the 
spine of the cotmtry between the Atlantic on one 
side, and the Mississippi and St. Lawrence on the 
other. The passage of the Potomac through the 
Blue Ridge is, perhaps, one of the most stupendous 
scenes in nature. You stand on a very high f)oint 
of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, 
having ranged along the foot of the moimtain an 
hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left ai>- 
proaches the Potomac, in quest of a passage also. 
In the moment of their junction, they rush together 
against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off 
to the sea. The first glance of this scene hurries 
our senses into the opinion, that this earth has been 
created in time, that the mountains were formed 
first, that the rivers began to flow afterwards, that 
in this place, particularly, they have been dammed 
up by the Blue Ridge of moimtains, and have formed 

Notes on Virginia 25 

an ocean which filled the whole valley; that con- 
tinuing to rise they have at length broken over at 
this spot, and have torn the mountain down from 
its stimmit to its base. The piles of rock on each 
hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evi- 
dent marks of their disrupture and avulsion from 
their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, 
corroborate the impression. But the distant finish- 
ing which nature has given to the picture, is of a very 
different character. It is a true contrast to the 
foreground. It is as placid and delightful as that is 
wild and tremendous. For the mountain being 
cloven asimder, she presents to your eye, through the 
cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an 
infinite distance in the plain coimtry, inviting you, 
as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, 
to pass through the breach and participate of the 
calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes 
itself; and that way, too, the road happens actually 
to lead. You cross the Potomac above the junction, 
pass along its side through the base of the mountain 
for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in 
fragments over you, and within about twenty miles 
reach Fredericktown, and the fine country round 
that. This scene is worth a voyage across the 
Atlantic. Yet here, as in the neighborhood of the 
Nattiral Bridge, are people who have passed their 
lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been 
to survey these monuments of a war between rivers 
and mountains, which must have shaken the earth 
itself to its centre. See Appendix (B.) 

26 Jefferson's Works 

The height of otir mountains has not yet been 
estimated with any degree of exactness. The Alle- 
ghany being the great ridge which divides the waters 
of the Atlantic from those of the Mississippi, its 
siimmit is doubtless more elevated above the oceaa 
than that of any other mountain. But its relative 
height, compared with the base on which it stands, 
is not so great as that of some others, the country 
rising behind the successive ridges like the steps 
of stairs. The mountains of the Blue Ridge, and 
of these the Peaks of Otter, are thought to be of a 
greater height, measured from their base, than any 
others in our country, and perhaps in North America. 
From data, which may found a tolerable conjecture, 
we suppose the highest peak to be about fotir thou- 
sand feet perpendicular, which is not a fifth part of 
the height of the mountains of South America, nor 
one-third of the height which would be necessary in 
our latitude to preserve ice in the open air unmelted 
through the year. The ridge of mountains next be- 
yond the Blue Ridge, called by us the North moun- 
tain, is of the greatest extent; for which reason they 
were named by the Indians the endless moimtains. 

A substance supposed to be Pumice, found float- 
ing on the Mississippi, has induced a conjecture that 
there is a volcano on some of its waters ; and as these 
are mostly known to their sources, except the Mis- 
souri, our expectations of verifying the conjecture 
would of course be led to the mountains which divide 
the waters of the Mexican Gulf from those of the 

Notes on Virginia 27 

South Sea; but no volcano having ever yet been 
Xmown at such a distance from the sea, we must 
xather suppose that this floating substance has been 
erroneously deemed Pimiice. 


Its Cascades and Caverns ? 

The only remarkable cascade in this country is 
that of the Falling Spring in Augusta. It is a water 
of James' river where it is called Jackson's river, 
rising in the warm spring mountains, about twenty 
miles southwest of the warm spring, and flowing 
into that valley. About three-quarters of a mile 
from its source it falls over a rock two himdred feet 
into the valley below. The sheet of water is broken 
in its breadth by the rock, in two or three places, but 
not at all in its height. Between the sheet and the 
rock, at the bottom, you may walk across dry. This 
cataract will bear no comparison with that of Nia- 
gara as to the quantity of water composing it; the 
sheet being only twelve or fifteen feet wide above and 
somewhat more spread below; but it is half as high 
again, the latter being only one htmdred and fifty- 
six feet, according to the mensuration made by order 
of M. Vaudreuil, Governor of Canada, and one him- 
dred and thirty according to a more recent account. 

In the lime-stone country there are many caverns 
of very considerable extent. The most noted is 
called Madison's Cave, and is on the north side of 


Jefferson's Works 

the Blue Ridge, near the intersection of the Rock- 
ingham and Augusta line with the south fork of the 
southern river of 
Shenandoah. It 
is in a hill of about 
two hundred feet 
height, the ascent 
of which, on one 
side, is so steep 
that you may 
pitch a biscuit 
from its summit 
into the river 
which washes its 
base. The en- 
trance of the cave 
is, in this side, 
about two-thirds 
of the way up. It 
extends into the 
earth about three 
hundred feet, 
branching into 
sulx)rdinate cav- 
erns, sometimes 
ascending a little, but more generally descending, 
and at length terminates, in two different places, at 
basons of water of unknown extent, and which I 
should judge to be nearly on a level with the water 

Notes on Virginia 29 

of the river ; however, I do not think they are formed 
by refluent water from that, because they are never 
turbid; because they do not rise and fall in corre- 
spondence with that in times of flood or of drought ; 
and because the water is always cool. It is probably 
one of the many reservoirs with which the interior 
parts of the earth are supposed to abound, and yield 
supplies to the fountains of water, distinguished from 
others only by being accessible. The vault of this 
cave is of solid lime-stone, from twenty to forty 
or fifty feet high ; through which water is continually 
percolating. This, trickling down the sides of the 
cave, has incrusted them over in the form of elegant 
drapery; and dripping from the top of the vault 
generates on that and on the base below, stalactites 
of a conical form, some of which have met and 
formed massive columns. 

Another of these caves is near the North moimtain, 
in the county of Frederic, on the lands of Mr. Zane. 
The entrance into this is on the top of an extensive 
ridge. You descend thirty or forty feet, as into a 
well, from whence the cave extends, nearly hori- 
zontally, four hundred feet into the earth, preserv- 
ing a breadth of from twenty to fifty feet, and a 
height of from five to twelve feet. After entering 
this cave a few feet, the mercury, which in the open 
air was 50°, rose to 57° of Fahrenheit's thermom- 
eter, answering to 11° of Reaumur's, and it contin- 
ued at that to the remotest parts of the cave. The 
uniform temperature of the cellars of the observa- 


'- : ■ .. :..-.■■ »litn:s 

■; • .r."..\]-. CtJlKl' 
■■■.=■.■ . "j' till- 

i.:i",;;/i:v' : 

. .. .^ 


* . 

• ''les 

■ i ■ 


1 \ 

. : 

.. hill 

. . ' 

, i 




■ . ■ ■ 


■ V-vSl ' 

: . . ■ . « ^ • I I T I AM I 

■ ■. ; .-. r ^vli'li- 


■ I J ■ 1 • I • 

1 "^ ' s. 

I 1 

1 • 


:.-. :- =: 

..I . t ' ■ 

• ■ i\ I III 

1 T— ■ 


■lli'l liirtfc— IfcfcBJ. •• It ._«1 

Notes on Virginia 3^ 

head, must not be pretermitted. It is on the ascent 
of a hill, which seems to have been cloven throtigh 
its length by some great convulsion. The fissure, 
just at the bridge, is, by some admeasurements, two 
hundred and seventy feet deep, by others only two 
hundred and five. It is about forty-five feet wide 
at the bottom and ninety feet at the top; this of 
course determines the length of the bridge, and its 
height from the water. Its breadth in the middle 
is about sixty feet, but more at the ends, and the 
thickness of the mass, at the summit of the arch, 
about forty feet. A part of this thickness is con- 
stituted by a coat of earth, which gives growth to 
many large trees. The residue, with the hill on both 
sides, is one solid rock of lime-stone. The arch 
approaches the semi-elliptical form; but the larger 
axis of the ellipsis, which would be the cord of the 
arch, is many times longer than the transverse. 
Though the sides of this bridge are provided in some 
parts with a parapet of fixed rocks, yet few men 
have resolution to walk to them, and look over into 
the abyss. You involuntarily fall on your hands 
and feet, creep to the parapet, and peep over it. 
Looking down from this height about a minute, gave 
me a violent head-ache. If the view from the top 
be painful and intolerable, that from below is delight- 
ful in an equal extreme. It is impossible for the 
emotions arising from the sublime to be felt beyond 
what they are here ; so beautiful an arch, so elevated, 
so light, and springing as it were up to heaven! The 

32 Jefferson's Works 

rapture of the spectator is really indescribable ! 
fissure continuing narrow, deep, and straight, for i 
considerable distance above and below the bridgeT 
opens a short but very pleasing view of the North 
mountain on one side and the Blue Ridge on the 
other, at the distance each of them of about five 
miles. This bridge is in the county of Rockbridge, 
to which it has given name, and affords a public and 
commodious passage over a valley which cannot be 
crossed elsewhere for a considerable distance. The 
stream passing under it is called Cedar creek. It is 
a water of James' river, and sufficient in the driest 
seasons to turn a grist-mill, though its fountain is not 
more than two miles above.' 

' Don UUoa mentions a. break, similar to this, in the province o( 
Angaraea, in South America, It is from sixteen to twenty-two feet 
wide, one hundred and eleven feet deep, and of 1.3 miles continuance, 
English measure. Its breadth at top is not sensibly greater than at 
bottom. But the following fact is remarkable, and will furnish some 
light tor conjecturing the probable origin of our natural bridge. " Esta 
caxa. & cauce est& cortada en p6na viva con tanta precision, que las 
desig:ualdades del un lado cntrantes, correspondcn d las del otro lado 
salientes, como si aquella altura se hubiese abierto expresamentc. con 
BUS bueltas y tortuosidades, para darle transito a los aguas por cntre 
los dos morallones que la forman ; siendo tal su igualdad, que si Uegasen 
d juntarseseendentarian uno con otro sin dextar hueco." Not. Amer. 
ii. { 10. Don Ulloa inclines to the opinion that this channel has been 
effected by the wearing of the water which runs through it, rather than 
that the mountain should have been broken open by any convulsion 
of nature. But i£it had been worn by the running of water, would not 
the rocks which form the sides, have been worn plain ? or if, meeting 
in some parts with veins of harder stone, the water had left promi- 
nences on the one side, would not the same cause have sometimes, or 
perhaps generally, occasioned prominences on the other side also? 
Vet Don Ulloa tells us, that on the other side there are always corre- 
sponding cavities, and that these tally with the prominences so per- 

Notes on Virginia 



^^^J^M^^ebf the mines and other subterraneous riches; 

^K its trees, plants, fruits, etc. 

^ I knew a single instance of gold found in this 

State. It was interspersed in small specks through 
a lump of ore of about four pounds weight, which 
yielded seventeen pennyweights of gold, of extraor- 
dinary ductility. This ore was found on the north 
Iside of Rappahanoc, about four miles below the 
falls. I never heard of any other indication of gold 
in its neighborhood. 

On the Great Kanhaway, opposite to the mouth 
of Cripple creek, and about twenty-five miles from 
our southern boundary, in the county of Montgom- 
ery, are mines of lead. The metal is mixed, some- 
times with earth, and sometimes with rock, which 
requires the force of gunpowder to open it; and is 
accompanied with a portion of silver too small to be 
"worth separation under any process hitherto at- 

t tempted there. The proportion yielded is from 
£fty to eighty pounds of pure metal from one hun- 
Sectly, that, were the two sides to come together they would fit in all 
■»heir indentures, without leaving any void. I think that this does 
anot resemble the effect of running water, but looks rather as if the 
■two sides had parted asunder. The sides of the break, over which is 
"the natural bridge of Virginia, consisting of a veiny rock which yields 
"to time, the correspondence between the salient and re-entering 
inequahties, if it existed at all, has now disappeared. This break 
lias the advantage of the one described by Don UUoa in its finest cir- 
^rumstance; no portion in that instance having held together, during 
'Khe separation of the other parts, so as to form a bridge over the abyss. 
vol. II — 3 

34 Jefferson's Works 

dred pounds of washed ore. The most common is 
that of sixty to one hundred poimds. The veins 
are sometimes most flattering, at others they disap- 
pear suddenly and totally. They enter the side of 
the hill and proceed horizontally. Two of them are 
wrought at present by the public, the best of which 
is one hundred yards under the hill. These wotold 
employ about fifty laborers to advantage. We 
have not, however, more than thirty generally, and 
these cultivate their own com. They have pro- 
duced sixty tons of lead in the year ; but the general 
quantity is from twenty to twenty-five tons. The 
present furnace is a mile from the ore bank and on 
the opposite side of the river. The ore is first wag- 
oned to the river, a quarter of a mile, then laden on 
board of canoes and carried across the river, which 
is there about two hundred yards wide, and then 
again taken into wagons and carried to the furnace. 
This mode was originally adopted that they might 
avail themselves of a good situation on a creek for a 
pounding mill ; but it would be easy to have the fur- 
nace and pounding mill on the same side of the river, 
which would yield water, without any dam, by a 
canal of about half a mile in length. From the 
furnace the lead is transported one hundred and 
thirty miles along a good road, leading through 
the peaks of Otter to Lynch's ferry, or Winston's 
on James' river, from whence it is carried by water 
about the same distance to Westham. This land 
carriage may be greatly shortened, by delivering the 

Notes on Virginia 35 

lead on James' river, above the Blue Ridge, from 
whence a ton weight has been brought on two 
canoes. The Great Kanhaway has considerable 
falls in the neighborhood of the mines. About seven 
miles below are three falls, of three or four feet per- 
pendicular each; and three miles above is a rapid 
of three mUes continuance, which has been compared 
in its descent to the great falls of James' river. Yet 
it is the opinion, that they may be laid open for 
useful navigation, so as to reduce very much the 
portage between the Kanhaway and James' river. 

A valuable lead mine is said to have been lately 
discovered in Cumberland, below the mouth of Red 
river. The greatest, however, known in the western 
country, are on the Mississippi, extending from the 
mouth of Rock river one hundred and fifty miles 
upwards. These are not wrought, the lead used in 
that country being from the banks on the Spanish 
side of the Mississippi, opposite to Kaskaskia. 

A mine of copper was once opened in the county 
of Amherst, on the north side of James' river, and 
another in the opposite country, on the south side. 
However, either from bad management or the pov- 
erty of the veins, they were discontinued. We are 
told of a rich mine of native copper on the Ouabache, 
below the upper Wiaw. 

The mines of iron worked at present are Calla- 
way's, Ross's, and Ballendine's, on the south side 
of James' river; Old's on the north side, in Albe- 
marle; Miller's in Augusta, and Zane's in Frederic. 

Jefferson's Works 

These two last are in the valley between the Blue 
Ridge and North mountain. Callaway's, Ross's, 
Miller's, and Zane's make about one hundred and 
fifty tons of bar iron each, in the year. Ross's 
makes also about sixteen hundred tons of pig iron 
annually; Ballendine's one thousand; Callaway's, 
Miller's, and Zane's, about six hundred each. Be- 
sides these, a forge of Mr. Hunter's, at Fredericks- 
burg, makes about three hundred tons a year of bar 
iron, from pigs imported from Maryland; and Tay- 
lor's forge on Neapsco of Potomac, works in the 
same way, but to what extent I am not informed. 
The indications of iron in other places are numerous, 
and dispersed through all the middle country. The 
toughness of the cast iron of Ross's and Zane's 
furnaces is very remarkable. Pots and other uten- 
sils, cast thinner than usual, of this iron, may be 
safely thrown into, or out of the wagons in which 
they are transported. Salt-pans made of the same, 
and no longer wanted for that purpose, cannot be 
broken up, in order to be melted again, unless pre- 
viously drilled in many parts. 

In the western country, we are told of iron mines 
between the Muskingum and Ohio; of others on 
Kentucky, between the Cumberland and Barren 
rivers, between Cumberland and Tennessee, on 
Reedy creek, near the Long Island, and on Chesnut 
creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, near where 
it crosses the Carolina line. What are called the 
iron banks, on the Mississippi, are believed, by a 

Notes on Virginia 37 

good judge, to have no iron in them. In general, 
from what is hitherto known of that country, it 
seems to want iron. 

Considerable quantities of black lead are taken 
occasionally for use from Winterham in the county 
of Amelia. I am not able, however, to give a partic- 
ular state of the mine. There is no work established 
at it; those who want, going and procuring it for 

The country on James' river, from fifteen to twenty 
miles above Richmond, and for several miles north- 
ward and southward, is replete with mineral coal of 
a very excellent quality. Being in the hands of 
many proprietors, pits have been opened, and, 
before the interruption of our commerce, were 
worked to an extent equal to the demand. 

In the western country coal is known to be in so 
many places, as to have induced an opinion, that the 
whole tract between the Laurel mountain, Missis- 
sippi, and Ohio, yields coal. It is also known in 
many places on the north side of the Ohio. The 
coal at Pittsburg is of very superior quality. A bed 
of it at that place has been a-fire since the year 1765. 
Another coal-hill on the Pike-nm of Monongahela 
has been a-fire ten years; yet it has burnt away 
about twenty yards only. 

I have known one instance of an emerald found in 
this country. Amethysts have been frequent, and 
crystals common; yet not in such numbers any of 
them as to be worth seeking. 


Jefferson's Works 

There is very good marble, and in very great 
abundance, on James' river, at the mouth of Rock- 
fish. The samples I have seen, were some of them 
of a white as pure as one might expect to find on the 
surface of the earth; but most of them were varie- 
gated with red, blue, and purple. None of it has 
been ever worked. It forms a very large precipice, 
which hangs over a navigable part of the river. It 
is said there is marble at Kentucky. 

But one vein of limestone is known below the Blue 
Ridge. Its first appearance, in our country, is in 
Prince William, two miles below the Pignut ridge of 
mountains; thence it passes on nearly parallel with 
that, and crosses the Rivanna about five miles be- 
low it, where it is called the South-west ridge. It 
then crosses Hard-ware, above the mouth of Hud- 
son's creek, James' river at the mouth of Rockfish, 
at the marble quarry before spoken of, probably 
runs up that river to where it appears again at 
Ross's iron-works, and so passes off south-west- 
wardly by Flat Creek of Otter river. It is never 
more than one hundred yards wide. From the Blue 
Ridge westwardly, the whole country seems to be 
founded on a rock of limestone, besides infinite 
quantities on the surface, both loose and fixed. This 
is cut into beds, which range, as the mountains and 
sea-coast do, from south-west to north-east, the 
lamina of each bed declining from the horizon 
towards a parallelism with the axis of the earth. 
Being struck with this observation, I made, with 


Notes on Virginia 




a quadrant, a great number of trials on the angles 
of their declination, and found them to vary from 
22*' to 60°; but averaging all my trials, the result 
was within one-third of a degree of the elevation 
of the pole or latitude of. the place, and much the 
greatest part of them taken separately were little 
different from that; by which it appears, that 
these lamina are, in the main, parallel with the 
axis of the earth. In some instances, indeed, I 
found them perpendicular, and even reclining 
the other way; but these were extremely rare, 
and always attended with signs of convulsion, 
or other circumstances of singularity, which ad- 
mitted a possibility of removal from their original 
position. These trials were made between Madi- 
son's cave and the Potomac. We hear of limestone 
on the Mississippi and Ohio, and in all the moun- 
tainous country between the eastern and western 
"waters, not on the moimtains themselves, but occu- 
tying the valleys between them. 
Near the eastern foot of the North mountain are 
immense bodies of Schist, containing impressions of 
shells in a variety of forms. I have received petri- 
fied shells of very different kinds from the first 
sources of Kentucky, which bear no resemblance 
to any I have ever seen on the tide-waters. It is 
said that shells are found in the Andes, in South 
America, fifteen thousand feet above the level of the 
ocean. This is considered by many, both of the 
beamed and unlearned, as a proof of an luiiversal 

40 Icftciwh'sWotks 

deluge. To the many consideratioiis opposing this 
opinion, the following may be added: The atmos- 
phere, and all its contents, whether of water, air, or 
other matter, gravitate to the earth; that is to say, 
they have weight. Experience tells us, that the 
weight of all these together never exceeds that of a 
column of mercury of thirty-one inches height, 
which is equal to one of rain water of thirty-five feet 
high. If the whole contents of the atmosphere, 
then, were water, instead of what they are, it woidd 
cover the globe but thirty-five feet deep; but as 
these waters, as they fell, would nm into the seas, 
the superficial measure of which is to that of the dry 
parts of the globe, as two to one, the seas would be 
raised only fifty-two and a half feet above their pres- 
ent level, and of cotirse would overflow the lands to 
that height only. In Virginia this would be a very 
small proportion even of the champaign country, 
the banks of our tide waters being frequently, if not 
generally, of a greater height. Deluges beyond this 
extent, then, as for instance, to the North mountain 
or to Kentucky, seem out of the laws of nature. But 
within it they may have taken place to a greater or 
less degree, in proportion to the combination of 
natural causes which may be supposed to have pro- 
duced them. History renders probably some in- 
stances of a partial deluge in the country lying rotmd 
the Mediterranean sea. It has been often^ supposed, 
and it is not unlikely, that that sea was once a lake. 

* 2 Buffon Epoques, 96. 

Notes on Virginia 4i 

While such, let us admit an extraordinary collection 
of the waters of the atmosphere from the other parts 
of the globe to have been discharged over that and 
the countries whose waters run into it. Or without 
supposing it a lake, admit such an extraordinary col- 
lection of the waters of the atmosphere, and an influx 
from the Atlantic ocean, forced by long-continued 
western winds. The lake, or that sea, may thus 
have been so raised as to overflow the low lands 
adjacent to it, as those of Egypt and Armenia, which, 
according to a tradition of the Egyptians and He- 
brews, were overflowed about two thousand three 
hundred years before the Christian era; those of 
Attica, said to have been overflowed in the time of 
t^'ges, about five hundred years later; and those 
ofThessaly, in the time of Deucalion, still three hun- 
dred years posterior. But such deluges as these will 
not account for the shells found in the higher lands. 
A second opinion has been entertained, which is, 
that in times anterior to the records either of history 
Or tradition, the bed of the ocean, the principal 
residence of the shelled tribe, has, by some great 
convulsion of natiue, been heaved to the heights at 
^'hich we now find shells and other marine animals. 
The favorers of this opinion do well to suppose the 
great events on which it rests to have taken place 
heyond all the eras of history; for within these, cer- 
tainly, none such are to be found; and we may 
Venture to say farther, that no fact has taken place, 
either in our own days, or in the thoiisands of veara 


Jefferson's Works 


recorded in history, which proves the existence m 
any natural agents, within or without the bowels of 
the earth, of force sufficient to heave, to the height 
of fifteen thousand feet, such masses as the Andes. 
The difference between the power necessary to pro- 
duce such an effect, and that which shuffled together — 
the different parts of Calabria in our days, is so im- 
mense, that from the existence of the latter, we are 
not authorized to infer that of the former. 

M. de Voltaire has suggested a third solution of 
this difficulty. (Quest. Encycl. Coquilles.) He cites 
an instance in Touraine, where, in the space of 
eighty years, a particular spot of earth had been 
twice metamorphosed into soft stone, which had 
become hard when employed in building. In this 
stone shells of various kinds were produced, discov- 
erable at first only with a microscope, but after- 
wards growing with the stone. From this fact, I 
suppose, he would have us infer, that, besides the 
usual process for generating shells by the elabora- 
tion of earth and water in animal vessels, nature 
may have provided an equivalent operation, by 
passing the same materials through the pores of 
calcareoxis earths and stones; as we see calcareous 
drop-stones generating every day, by the percolation 
of water through lime-stone, and new marble form- 
ing in the quarries from which the old has been taken 
out. And it might be asked, whether is it more 
difficult for nature to shoot the calcareous juice into 
the form of a shell, than other juices into the forms 


Notes on Virginia 43 

of crystals, plants, animals, according to the con- 
struction of the vessels through which they pass ? 
There is a wonder somewhere. Is it greatest on 
this branch of the dilemma; on that which supposes 
the existence of a power, of which we have no evi- 
dence in any other case; or on the first, which 
.fequires us to believe the creation of a body of water 
and its subsequent annihilation ? The establish- 
ment of the instance, cited by M. de Voltaire, of the 
growth, of shells unattached to animal bodies, would 
have been that of his theory. But he has not estab- 
lished it. He has not even left it on ground so 
respectable as to have rejidered it an object of in- 
quiry to the literati of his own country. Abandon- 
ing this fact, therefore, the three h3'potheses are 
equally unsatisfactory; and we must be contented 
to acknowledge, that this great phenomenon is as yet 
■unsolved. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he 
is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, 
"than he who believes what is wrong. 

There is great abundance (more especially when 
you approach the mountains) of stone, white, blue. 
brown, &c., fit for the chisel, good mill-stone, such 
also as stands the fire, and slate stone. We are told 
of fiint, fit for gun-flints, on the Meherrin in Bruns- 
wick, on the Mississippi between the mouth of the 
Ohio and Kaskaskia, and on others of the western 
"waters. Isinglass or mica is in several places; load- 
Stone also ; and an Asbestos of a ligneous texture, is 
sometimes to be met with. 

44 Jefferson's Works 

Marie abounds generally. A clay, of which, like 
the Sturbridge in England, bricks are made, which 
resist long the violent action of fire, has been found 
on Tuckahoe creek of James' river, and no doubt wdll 
be found in other places. Chalk is said to be in 
Botetourt and Bedford. In the latter county is 
some earth believed to be gypseous. Ochres are 
found in various parts. 

In the lime-stone country are many caves, the 
earthy floors of which are impregnated with nitre. 
On Rich creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, 
about sixty miles below the lead mines, is a very 
large one, about twenty yards wide, and entering a 
hill a quarter or half a mile. The vault is of rock, 
from nine to fifteen or twenty feet above the floor. 
A Mr. Lynch, who gives me this account, undertook 
to extract the nitre. Besides a coat of the salt 
which had formed on the vault and floor, he found 
the earth highly impregnated to the depth of seven 
feet in some places, and generally of three, every 
bushel yielding on an average three pounds of nitre. 
Mr. Lynch having made about ten hundred pounds 
of the salt from it. consigned it to some others, who 
have since made ten thousand pounds. They have 
done this by pursuing the cave into the hill, never 
trying a second time the earth they have once ex- 
hausted, to see how far or soon it receives another 
impregnation. At least fifty of these caves are 
worked on the Greenbriar. There are many of 
them known on Cumberland river. 

Notes on Virginia 4S 

The country westward of the Alleghany abounds 
with springs of common salt. The most remarkable 
"we have heard of are at Bullet 's-lick, the Big-bones, 
the Blue-licks, and on the north fork of Holston. 
The area of Bullet's-lick is of many acres. Digging 
the earth to the depth of three feet the water begins to 
"boil up, and the deeper you go and the drier the 
"weather, the stronger is the brine. A thousand 
gallons of water yield from a bushel to a bushel and 
a half of salt, which is about eighty pounds of water 
to one pound of salt. So that sea-water is more 
"than three times as strong as that of these springs. 
Ji. salt spring has been lately discovered at the Tur- 
Icey foot on Yohogany, by which river it is over- 
sowed, except at very low water. Its merit is not 
yet known. Dunning's lick is also as yet untried, 
"but it is supposed to be the best on this side the Ohio. 
The salt springs on the margin of the Onondago lake 
are said to give a saline taste to the waters of the 

There are several medicinal springs, some of which 
indubitably efficacious, while others seem to owe 
their reputation as much to fancy and change of air 
and regimen, as to their real virtues. None of them 
having undergone a chemical analysis in skilful 
hands, nor been so far the subject of observations 
as to have produced a reduction into classes of the 
disorders which they relieve; it is in my power to 
give little more than an enumeration of them. 
The most efficacious of these are two springs in 



Jefferson's Works 

Augusta near the first sources of James' river, where 
it is called Jackson's river. They rise near the foot 
of the ridge of mountains generally called the Warm 
spring mountains, but in the maps Jackson's moun- 
tains. The one distinguished by the name of the 
Warm spring, and the other of the Hot spring. The 
Warm spring issues with a very bold stream, suf- 
ficient to work a grist mill and to keep the waters 
of its basin, which is thirty feet in diameter, at the 
vital warmth, viz. 96" of Fahrenheit's thermometer. 
The matter with which these waters is allied is very- 
volatile; its smell indicates it to be sulphureous, as 
also does the circumstance of its turning silver black. 
They relieve rheumatisms. Other complaints also 
of very different natures have been removed or 
lessened by them. It rains here four or five days- 
in every week. 

The Hot spring is about six miles from the Warm, 
is much smaller, and has been so hot as to have boiled 
an egg. Some believe its degree of heat to b^ 
lessened. It raises the mercury in Fahrenheit'^ 
thermometer to 1 12 degrees, which is fever heat. I't 
sometimes relieves where the Warm fails. A foim. — 
tain of common water, issuing within a few inches o^ 
its margin, gives it a singtilar appearance. Compart- 
ing the temperature of these with that of the He*"! 
springs of Kamschatka, of which Krachininnikov*' 
gives an account, the difference is very great, tKe 
latter raising the mercury to 200° which is within 
12° of boiling water. These springs are i 

icn IS wiuiixi I 
e very much J 

Notes on Virginia 47 

resorted to in spite of a total want of accommoda- 
tion for the sick. Their waters are strongest in the 
hottest months, which occasions their being visited 
in July and August principally. 

The Sweet springs are in the county of Botetotu-t, 
at the eastern foot of the Alleghany, about forty- 
two miles from the Warm springs. They are still 
less known. Having been found to relieve cases in 
vphich the others had been ineffectually tried, it is 
probable their composition is different. They are 
different also in their temperature, being as cold as 
common water; which is not mentioned, however, 
as a proof of a distinct impregnation. This is among 
tlrie first sources of James' river. 

On Potomac river, in Berkley county, above the 
I*^orth mountain, are medicinal springs, much more 
frequented than those of Augusta. Their powers, 
l^owever, are less, the waters weakly mineralized, 
^nd scarcely warm. They are more visited, because 
situated in a fertile, plentiful, and popialous country, 
t>etter provided with accommodations, always saft 
from the Indians, and nearest to the more populous 

In Louisa county, on the head waters of the South 
Ami branch of York river, are springs of some medic- 
inal virtue. They are not much used however. 
There is a weak chalybeate at Richmond ; and many 
others in various parts of the country, which are of 
too little worth, or too little note, to be envunerated 
after those before mentioned. 

48 Jefferson's Works 

We are told of a sulphur spring on Howard's creek 
of Greenbriar, and another at Boonsborough on 

In the low grounds of the Great Kanhaway, seven 
miles above the mouth of Elk river, and sixty-seven 
above that of the Kanhaway itself, is a hole in the 
earth of the capacity of thirty or forty gallons, from 
which issues constantly a bituminous vapor, in so 
strong a current as to give to the sand about its 
orifice the motion which it has in a boiling spring. 
On presenting a lighted candle or torch within eigh- 
teen inches of the hole it flames up in a column of 
eighteen inches in diameter, and four or five feet 
height, which sometimes bums out within twenty 
minutes, and at other times has been known to con- 
tinue three days, and then has been stiU left burning. 
The flame is tmsteady, of the density of that of burn- 
ing spirits, and smells like burning pit coal. Water 
sometimes collects in the basin, which is remarkably 
cold, and is kept in ebullition by the vapor issuing 
through it. If the vapor be fired in that state, the 
water soon becomes so warm that the hand cannot 
bear it, and evaporates wholly in a short time. This, 
with the circumjacent lands, is the property of His 
Excellency General Washington and of General Lewis. 

There is a similar one on Sandy river, the flame of 
which is a column of about twelve inches diameter, 
and three feet high. General Clarke, who informs 
me of it, kindled the vapor, staid about an hour, 
and left it biuming. 

Notes on Virginia 49 

The mention of uncommon springs leads me to 
that of Syphon fountains. There is one of these 
near the intersection of the Lord Fairfax's boundary 
with the North mountain, not far from Brock's gap, 
on the stream of which is a grist mill, which grinds 
two bushel of grain at every flood of the spring; 
another near Cow-pasture river, a mile and a half 
below its confluence with the Bull-pasture river, and 
sixteen or seventeen miles from Hot springs, which 
intermits once in every twelve hours ; one also near 
the mouth of the north Holston. 

After these may be mentioned the Natural Well, 
on the lands of a Mr. Lewis in Frederick county. It 
is somewhat larger than a common well ; the water 
rises in it as near the surface of the earth as in the 
neighboring artificial wells, and is of a depth as yet 
Unknown. It is said there is a current in it tending 
sensibly downwards. If this be true, it probably 
feeds some fountain, of which it is the natural reser- 
voir, distinguished from others, like that of Madison's 
cave, by being accessible. It is used with a bucket 
and windlass as an ordinary well. 

A complete catalogue of the trees, plants, fruits, 
&c., is probably not desired. I will sketch out those 
which would principally attract notice, as being 
first, Medicinal; second. Esculent; third, Ornamental; 
or four, useful for fabrication ; adding the Linnjean 
to the popular names, as the latter might not convey 
precise information to a foreigner. I shall confine 
myself, too, to native plants. 

5^ Jefferson's Works 

X. Senna. Cassia ligustrina. 

Arsmart. Polygonum Sagittatum. 

Clivers, or goose-grass. Galium spurium. 

Lobelia of several spedes. 

Palma Christi. Ridnus. 

(3i) Jamestown weed. Datura Stramonium. 

Mallow. Malva rottmdafolia. 

Syrian mallow. Hibiscus moschentos. 

Hibiscus Virginicus. 

Indian mallow. Sida rhombifolia. 

Sida abutilon. 

Virginia marshmallow. Napaea hermaphrodita. 

Napsea dioica. 

Indian physic. Spiria trifoliata. 

Euphorbia Ipecacuanhas. 

Pleurisy root. Asclepias decumbens. 

Virginia snake-root. Aristolochia serpentaria. 

Black snake-root. Actae racemosa. 

Seneca rattlesnake-root. Polygala Senega 

Valerian. Valeriana locusta radiata. 

Gentiana, Saponaria, Villosa & Centaurium. 

Ginseng. Panax quinquefolium. 

Angelica. Angelica sylvestris. 

Cassava. Jatropha urens. 
a. Tuckahoe. Lycoperdon tuber. 

Jerusalem artichoke. Helianthus tuberosus. 

Long potatoes. Convolvulas batatas. 

Granadillas. Maycocks, Maracocks, Passiflora incamata. 

Panic. Panicum of many spedes. 

Indian millet. Holcus laxus. 

Holcus striosus. 

Wild oat. Zizania aquaticia. 

Wild pea. Dolichos of Clayton. 

Lupine. Lupinus perennis. 

Wild hop. Humulus lupulus. 

Wild cherry. Prunus Virginiana. 

Cherokee plum. Prunus sylvestris fructu majori. Clayto 

Wild plum. Prunus sylvestris fructu minori. Clayton. 

Wild crab apple. Pyrus coronaria. 

Red mulberry. Moms rubra. 

Persimmon. Diospiros Virginiana. 

Sugar maple. Acer saccarinum. 

Notes on Virginia 5^ 

Scaly bark hiccory. Juglans albacorticesqtiamoso. Qayton. 

Common hiccory. Juglans alba, fructu minore randdo. Clay- 

Paccan, or Illinois nut. Not described by Linnaetis, Millar, or 
Clayton. Were I to venture to describe this, speaking of the 
fruit irom memory, and of the leaf from plants of two years* 
growth, I should sp>ecify it as Juglans alba, foliolis lanceolatis, 
acuminatis, serratis, tomentosis, fructu minore, ovato, com- 
presso, vix insculpto, dulci, putamine tenerrimo. It grows 
on the Illinois, Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi. It is spoken 
of by Don Ulloa tmder the name of Pacanos, in his Notidas 
Americanas, Entret. 6. 

Black walnut. Juglans nigra. 

White walnut. Juglans alba. 

Chesnut. Fagus castanea. 

Chinquapin. Fagus pumila. 

Hazlenut. Corylus avellana. 

Grapes. Vitis. Various kinds; though only three described 
by Clayton. 

Scarlet strawberries. Fragaria Virginiana of Millar. 

Whortleberries. Vaccinium uliginosum. 

Wild gooseberries. Ribes grossularia. 

Cranberries. Vacdnium oxycoccos. 

Black raspberries. Rubus occidentalis. 

Blackberries. Rubus fructicosus. 

Dewberries. Rubus csesius. 

Cloudberries. Rubus Chamsemorus. 

Plane tree. Platanus occidentalis. 

Poplar. Liriodendron tulipifera. 
Populus heterophylla. 

Black poplar. Populus nigra. 

Aspen. Populus tremula. 

Linden, or lime. Telia Americana. 

Red-flowering maple. Acer rubrum. 

Horse-chesnut, or buck's-eye. iEsculus pa via. 

Catalpa. Bignonia catalpa. 

Umbrella. Magnolia tripetala. 

Swamp laurel. Magnolia glauca. 

Cucimiber-tree. Magnolia acuminata. 

Portugal bay. Laurus indica. 

Red bay. Laurus borbonia. 

Dwarf-rose bay. Rhododendron maximum. 

Jefferson's Works 

^ called ivy with a 

Laurel of the western country. Qu. spedes? 

Wild pimento. Laurus benzoin. 

Sassafras. Laurus sassafras. 

Locust. Robinia pseudo- acacia. 

Honey-locust, Gleditsia. i, ^, 

Dogwood. Comus florida. 

Fringe, or snow-drop tree. Chionanthus Virginica. 

Barberry. Barberis vulgaris. 

Redbud. or Judas-tree. Cercis Canadensis. 

Holly. Ilex aijuifolium, 

Cockspur hawthorn. Crataegus coccinea. 

Spindle-tree. Euonymus EuropKua. 

Evergreen spindle-tree. Euonymus Americanus. 

Ilea Virginica. 

Elder. SambucuE nigra. 

Papaw. Annona triloba. 

Candleberry myrtle. Myrica cerifera. 

Dwarf laurel. Kalmia angustifoUa' 

Kalmia latifolia 
Ivy. Hedera quinquefolia. 
Trumpet honeysuckle. Lonicera sempervirens. 
Upright honeysuckle. Azalea nudiflora. 
Yellow jasmine. Bignonia sempervirens. 
Calycanthus floridus. 
American aloe. Agave Virginica. 
Sumach. Rhus, Qu. species? 
Poke. Phytolacca decandra. 
Long moss. Tillandsia Usneoides. 
Reed. Aruudo phragmitis. 
Virginia hemp, Acnida cannabina. 
Flax. Linum Virginianum. 
Black, or pitch-pine. Pinus t^a. 
White pine. Pinus strobus. 
Yellow pine. Pinus Virginica. 
Spruce pine. Pinus foliis singularibus. Claytoi 
Hemlock spruce Fir. Pinus Canadensis. 
Arbor vitte. Thuya occidenlalis. 
Juniper. Juniperus Virginica (called cedar will 
Cypress. Cupressus disticha. 
White cedar. Cupressus Thyoides. 
Black oak. Quercua nigra. 
White oak. Quercus albL 

Notes on Virginia 


Red oak, Querc. 

JB rubra. 

Willow oak. Qui 

;rcu5 pheHos. 

CbeGout oak. Qi 

.ercua prinu.. 

Black jack oak. 

Quercus aquatjca. CI a 

Ground oak. Qu 

ercus pumila. Clayton. 

Live oak. Querc 

us Virginiana. Millar. 

Black birch. Betula nigra. 
White birch. Betula alba. 
Beach. Fagus sylvatica. 
Ash. Fraxinus Americana. 

Fraxinus Novse Anglia. WO* 
Elm. XJlmus Americana. 
Willow. Salix. Qu. species? 
Sweet gum. Liquidambar styracifluE 

The following were found in Vir^nia when first 
visited by the English ; but it is not said whether of 
Spontaneous growth, or by cultivation only. Most 
probably they were nativesof more southern climates. 
^nd handed along the continent from one nation to 
QJiother of the savages. 

Tobacco. Nicotiana. 

Maize. Zea mays. 

Round potatoes. Solanum tuberosum. 

Pumpkins. Cucurbita pepo. 

Cymlings. Cucurbita verrucosa. 

Squashes, Cucurbita mdopepo. 

There is an infinitude of other plants and flowers, 
*or an enumeration and scientific description of 
^^hich I must refer to the Flora Virginica of our great 
ootanist, Dr. Clayton, published by Gronovius at 
l^yden, in 1762. This accurate observer was a 
Native and resident of this State, passed a long life in 
exploring and describing its plants, and is supposed 
Vi have enlarged the botanical catalogue as much as 
almost any man who has lived. 


54 Jefferson's Works 

Besides these plants, which are native, our farms 
produce wheat, rye, barley, oats, buck-wheat, broom 
com, and Indian com. The climate suits rice well 
enough, wherever the lands do. Tobacco, hemp, 
flax, and cotton, are staple commodities. Indigo 
yields two cuttings. The silk-worm is a native, and 
the mulberry, proper for its food, grows kindly. 

We cultivate, also, potatoes, both the long and the^ 
round, tumips, carrots, parsnips, pumpkins, and 
ground nuts (Arachis). Our grasses are lucerne, st -^. 
foin, bumet, timothy, ray, and orchard grass; rpH M _ 
white, and yellow clover; greensward, blue gra.s g- — ; , 
and crab grass. 

The gardens yield musk-melons, water-melon^^ss, 
tomatoes, okra, pomegranates, figs, and the esculert: — it 
plants of Europe. 

The orchards produce apples, pears, cherrie:^^^^, 
quinces, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds, am 

Our quadrupeds have been mostly described 1 
Linnffius and Mons. de Buffon. Of these the mair ^^i> 
moth, or big buffalo, as called by the Indians, mu^ciist 
certainly have been the largest. Their tradition - is, 
that he was carnivorous, and still exists in the nort^^ft- 
ern parts of America, A delegation of warriors frcn^vn 
the Delaware tribe having visited the Governor of 
Virginia, during the revolution, on matters of bii-=s/- 
ness, after these had been discussed and settled 
council, the Governor asked them some questioiis 
relative to their country, and among others, what 

Notes on Virginia 55 

l-lhey knew or had heard of the animal whose bones 
B-Were found at the SaltHcks on the Ohio. Their 
iief speaker immediately put himself into an atti- 
tude of oratory, and with a pomp suited to what he 
nnceived the elevation of his subject, informed him 
3iat it was a tradition handed down from their 
Lthers, "That in ancient times a herd of these tre- 
mendous animals came to the Big-bone licks, and 
began an universal destruction of the bear, deer, elks, 
buffaloes, and other animals which had been created 
for the use of the Indians ; that the Great Man above, 
looking down and seeing this, was so enraged that he 
seized his lightning, descended on the earth, seated 
himseif on a neighboring mountain, on a rock of 
"which his seat and the print of his feet are still to be 
seen, and hurled his bolts among them till the whole 
■were slaughtered, except the big bull, who present- 
ing his forehead to the shafts, shook them off as they 
fell; but missing one at length, it wounded him in 
the side; whereon, springing round, he bounded over 
the Ohio, over the Wabash, the Illinois, and finally 
over the great lakes, where he is living at this day." 
It is well known, that on the Ohio, and in many parts 
of America further north, tusks, grinders, and skele- 
tons of unparalleled magnitude, are found in great 
I .ntimbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and 
ne a little below it. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner 
■ the mouth of the Tennessee, relates, that after 
eing transferred through several tribes, from one 
Vifi another, he was at length carried over the moun- 

Jefferson's Works 

tains west of the Missouri to a river which runs west- 
wardly; that these bones abounded there, and that 
the natives described to him the animal to which they 
belonged as still existing in the northern parts of 
their country; from which description he judged it 
to be an elephant. Bones of the same kind have 
been lately found, some feet below the surface of the 
earth, in salines opened on the North Holston, a 
branch of the Tennessee, about the latitude of 365^" 
north. From the accoimts published in Europe, I 
suppose it to be decided that these are of the same 
kind with those found in Siberia. Instances are 
mentioned of like animal remains found in the more 
southern climates of both hemispheres ; but they are 
either so loosely mentioned as to leave a doubt of 
the fact, so inaccurately described as not to author- 
ize the classing them with the great northern bones, 
or so rare as to found a suspicion that they have 
been carried thither as curiosities from the northern 
regions. So that, on the whole, there seem to be 
no certain vestiges of the existence of this animal 
farther south than the salines just mentioned. It is 
remarkable that the tusks and skeletons have been 
ascribed by the naturalists of Europe to the elephant, 
while the grinders have been given to the hippopota- 
mus, or river horse. Yet it is acknowledged, that 
the tusks and skeletons are much larger than those 
of the elephant, and the grinders many times greater 
than those of the hippopotamus, and essentially 
different in form. Wherever these grinders are 


Notes on Virginia 57 

found, there also we find the tusks and skeleton; but 
no skeleton of the hippopotamus nor grinders of the 
elephant. It will not be said that the hippopotamus 
and elephant came always to the same spot, the 
former to deposit his grinders, and the latter his 
tusks and skeleton. For what became of the parts 
not deposited there ? We must agree then, that 
these remains belong to each other, that they are of 
one and the same animal, that this was not a hippo- 
fwtamus, because the hippopotamus had no tusks, 
nor such a frame, and because the grinders differ in 
their size as well as in the number and form of their 
points. That this was not an elephant, I think 
ascertained by proofs equally decisive. I will not 
avail myself of the authority of the celebrated' anat- 
omist, who, from an examination of the form and 
structure of the tusks, has declared they were essen- 
tially different from those of the elephant; because 
another" anatomist, equally celebrated, has declared, 
on a like examination, that they are precisely the 
same. Between two such authorities I will suppose 
this circumstance equivocal. But, i. The skeleton 
of the mammoth (for so the incognitum has been 
called) bespeaks an animal of five or six times the 
cubic volume of the elephant, as Mens, de Bufion 
lias admitted. 2. The grinders are five times as 
large, are square, and the grinding surface studded 
with four or five rows of blunt points ; whereas those 


Jefferson's Works 

their erind^ 

of the elephant are broad and thin, and their grind 
ing surface flat. 3. I have never heard an instance, 
and suppose there has been none, of the grinder of an 
elephant being found in America. 4. From the 
known temperature and constitution of the elephant, 
he could never have existed in those regions where 
the remains of the mammoth have been found. The 
elephant is a native only of the torrid zone and its 
vicinities; if, with the assistance of warm apart- 
ments and warm clothing, he has been preserved in 
the temperate climates of Eurojje, it has only been 
for a small portion of what would have been his nat- 
ural period, and no instance of his multiplication in 
them has ever been known. But no bones of the 
mammoth, as I have before observed, have been 
ever found further south than the salines of Holston, 
and they have been found as far north as the Arctic 
circle. Those, therefore, who are of opinion that 
the elephant and mammoth are the same, must be- 
lieve, I. That the elephant known to us can exist 
and multiply in the frozen zone; or, 2. That an 
eternal fire may once have warmed those regions, 
and since abandoned them, of which, however, the 
globe exhibits no imequivocal indications; or, 3. That 
the obliquity of the ecliptic, when these elephants 
lived, was so great as to include within the tropics 
all those regions in which the bones are foimd; the 
tropics being, as is before observed, the natural 
limits of habitation for the elephant. But if it be 
admitted that this obliquity has really decreased, 

Notes on Virginia 59 

rand we adopt the highest rate of decrease yet pre- 
Jtended, that is, of one minute in a century, to trans- 
I fer the northern tropic to the Arctic circle, would 
licarry the existence of these supposed elephants two 
hundred and fifty thousand years back; a period 
r beyond our conception of the duration of animal 
Itwnes less exposed to the open air than these are in 
Siany instances. Besides, though these regions 
|:Would then be supposed within the tropics, yet their 
winters would have been too severe for the sensibil- 
ity of the elephant. They would have had, too, but 
one day and one night in the year, a circumstance to 
which we have no reason to suppose the nature of 
the elephant fitted. However, it has been demon- 
strated, that, if a variation of obliquity in the ecliptic 
takes place at all, it is vibratory, and never exceeds 
the limits of nine degrees, which is not sufficient 
to bring these bones within the tropics. One of 
these hypotheses, or some other equally voluntary 
and inadmissible to cautious philosophy, must be 
adopted to support the opinion that these are the 
Elbones of the elephant. For my own part. I find it 
easier to believe that an animal may have existed, 
resembling the elephant in his tusks, and general 
anatomy, while his nature was in other respects 
extremely different. From the 30th degree of 
south latitude to the 30th degree of north, are nearly 
the limits which nature has fixed for the existence 
and multiplication of the elephant known to us. 
Proceeding thence northwardly to 36J4 degrees, we 

Jefferson's Works 

enter those assigned to the mammoth. The farther 
we advance north, the more their vestiges multiply 
as far as the earth has been explored in that direction ; 
and it is as probable as otherwise, that this progres- 
sion continues to the pole itself, if land extends so 
far. The centre of the frozen zone, then, may be 
the acm6 of their vigor, as that of the torrid is of the 
elephant. Thus nature seems to have drawn a belt 
of separation between these two tremendous ani- 
mals, whose breadth, indeed, is not precisely known, 
though at present we may suppose it about 6J^ de- 
grees of latitude; to have assigned to the elephant 
the region south of these confines, and those north 
to the mammoth, founding the constitution of the 
one in her extreme of heat, and that of the other in 
the extreme of cold. When the Creator has therefore 
separated their nature as far as the extent of the 
scale of animal life allowed to this planet would 
permit, it seems perverse to declare it the same, from 
a partial resemblance of their tusks and bones. But 
to whatever animal we ascribe these remains, it is 
certain such a one has existed in America, and that it 
hasbcen the largest of all terrestrial beings. It should 
have sufficed to have rescued the earth it inhabited, 
and the atmosphere it breathed, from the imputa- 
tion of impotence in the conception and nourishment 
of animal life on a large scale; to have stifled, in its 
birth, the opinion of a writer, the most learned, too, 
of all others in the science of animal history, that 
in the new world, " La nature vivante est beaucoup 


Notes on Virginia 6i 

moins agissante, beaucoup moins forte :"^ that 
nature is less active, less energetic on one side of the 
globe than she is on the other. As if both sides 
were not warmed by the same genial stm; as if a 
soil of the same chemical composition was less capa- 
ble of elaboration into animal nutriment; as if the 
fruits and grains from that soil and sun yielded a 
less rich chyle, gave less extension to the solids and 
fluids of the body, or produced sooner in the carti- 
lages, membranes, and fibres, that rigidity which 
restrains all further extension, and terminates 
animal growth. The truth is, that a pigmy and a 
Patagonian, a mouse and a mammoth, derive their 
dimensions from the same nutritive juices. The 
difference of increment depends on circumstances 
unsearchable to beings with our capacities. Every 
race of animals seems to have received from their 
Maker certain laws of extension at the time of their 
formation. Their elaborate organs were formed to 
produce this, while proper obstacles were opposed 
to its further progress. Below these limits they 
cannot fall, nor rise above them. What interme- 
diate station they shall take may depend on soil, on 
climate, on food, on a careful choice of breeders. 
But all the manna of heaven would never raise the 
mouse to the bulk of the mammoth. 

The opinion advanced by the Count de Buffon,^ 
is I. That the animals common both to the old and 

^Btiffon, xviii. 112 edit. Paris, 1764. 
'Buffon, xviii. 100, 156. 

fia Jefferson's Works 

new world are smaller in the latter. 2. That those 
peculiar to the new are on a smaller scale. 3. That 
those which have been domesticated in both have 
degenerated in America; and 4. That on the whole 
it exhibits fewer species. And the reason he thinks 
is, that the heats of America are less; that more 
waters are spread over its surface by nature, and 
fewer of these drained off by the hand of man. In 
other words, that heat is friendly, and moisture ad- 
verse to the production and development of lar^e 
quadrupeds. I will not meet this hypothesis on its 
first doubtful ground, whether the climate of Amer- 
ica be comparatively more humid ? Because we 
are not furnished with observations sufficient to 
decide this question. And though, till it be decided, 
we are as free to deny as others are to affirm the 
fact, yet for a moment let it be supposed. The 
hypothesis, after this supposition, jjroceeds to an- 
other; that moisture is unfriendly to animal growth. 
The truth of this is inscrutable to us by reasonings 
a priori. Nature has hidden from us her modus 
agcndi. Our only appeal on such questions is to 
experience; and I think that experience is against 
the supposition. It is by the assistance of heat and 
moisture that vegetables are elaborated from the 
elements of earth, air, water, and fire. We accord- 
ingly see the more humid climates produce the 
greater quantity of vegetables. Vegetables are 
mediately or immediately the food of every ani- 
mal; and in proportion to the quantity of food, we 

Notes on Virginia 63 

see animals not only multiplied in their niimbers, 
but improved in their bulk, as far as the laws of 
their nature will admit. Of this opinion is the 
Count de Buffon himself in another part of his 
work;' "en general il paroit ques les pays un peu 
froids conviennent mieux h. nos boeufs que Ics pays 
chauds, et qu'ils sont d'autant plus gross et plus 
grands que le climat est plus humide et plus abon- 
dans en paturages. Les boeufs de Danemarck, de 
la Podolie, de 1 'Ulkraine et de la Tartarie qu habitent 
les Calniouques sont les plus grands de tous." Here 
then a race of animals, and one of the largest too, 
has been increased in its dimensions by cold and 
moisture, in direct .opposition to the hypothesis, 
which supposes that these two circumstances dimin- 
ish animal bulk, and that it is their contraries heat 
and dryness which enlarge it. But when we appeal 
to experience we are not to rest satisfied with a 
single fact. Let us, therefore, try our question on 
more general ground. Let us take two portions of 
the earth, Europe and America for instance, suffi- 
ciently extensive to give operation to general causes; 
let us consider the circumstances peculiar to each, 
and observe their effect on animal natiu-e. Amer- 
ica, running through the torrid as well as temperate 
zone, has more heat collectively taken, than Europe. 
But Europe, according to our hypothesis, is the 
dryest. They are equally adapted then to animal 
productions: each being endowed with one of those 
causes which befriends animal growth, and with one 

Jefferson's Works 

which opposes it. If it be thought uneqxial to com- 
pare Europe with America, which is so much larger, 
I answer, not more so than to compare America with 
the whole world. Besides, the purpose of the com- 
parison is to try an hypothesis, which makes the 
size of animals depend on the heat and moisture of 
climate. If, therefore, we take a region so extensive 
as to comprehend a sensible distinction of climate, 
and so extensive, too, as that local accidents, or the 
intercourse of animals on its borders, may not mate- 
rially affect the size of those in its interior parts, we 
shall comply with those conditions which the hypoth- 
esis may reasonably demand. The objection would 
be the weaker in the present case, because any inter- 
covu^e of animals which may take place on the con- 
fines of Europe and Asia, is to the advantage of the 
former, Asia producing certainly larger animals 
than Europe. Let us then take a comparative view 
of the quadrupeds of Europe and America, present- 
ing them to the eye in three different tables, in one 
of which shall be enumerated those found in both 
countries; in a second, those found in one only; 
in a third, those which have been domesticated in 
both. To facilitate the comparison, let those of each 
table be arranged in gradation according to their 
sizes, from the greatest to the smallest, so far as 
their sizes can be conjectured. The weights of the 
large animals shall be expressed in the English 
avoirdupois and its decimals ; those of the smaller, 
in the same ounce and its decimals. Those which 

Notes on Virginia 6$ 

are marked thus *, are actual weights of particular 
subjects, deemed among the largest of their species. 
Those marked thus t» are ftimished by judicious 
persons, well acquainted with the species, and say- 
ing, from conjecture only, what the largest individ- 
ual they had seen would probably have weighed. 
The other weights are taken from Messrs. Buffon and 
D'Aubenton, and are of such subjects as came casu- 
ally to their hands for dissection. This circtun- 
stance must be remembered where their weights and 
mine stand opposed; the latter being stated not to 
produce a conclusion in favor of the American 
species, but to justify a suspension of opinion until 
we are better informed, and a suspicion, in the mean- 
time, that there is no uniform difference in favor of 
either; which is all I pretend. . 

A comparative view of the Quadrupeds of Europe and 

of America. 


Europe. America, 

lb. lb. 


Buflfalo. Bison 

White Bear. Ours blanc 

Carribou. Renne 

Bear. Ours 153 

Elk. Elan. Original palmated 

Red deer. Cerf 288 

Fallow Deer. Daim 167 

Wolf. Loup 69 

Roe. Chevreuil 56 

Glutton. Glouton. Carcajou 

Wild cat. Chat sauvage 

Lyiui. Loup cervier 25 

VOL. II — 5 



8 *2Tz 

o .... 

o • • . . 

/ • • • • 


• • • • 

Beaver. Castor 

Badger, filaireau 13 

Red fox. Renard 13 . 

Gray £ox. Isatis 

Otter. Loutre 

Monax. Mannotte .. 

ViBon. Fouine 

Hedgehog. Herisson 
Marten. Marte 

Water rat. Rat d'eau 

Weasel. Belette 

Flying squirrel, Polatooche . 
Shrew mouse, Musaraigne. . . . 

ii, aboriginals of one only. 
Europe. Aubkica. 

Sanglter. Wild boar . . . 
Mouflon, Wild sheep . . 
Bouquetin. Wild goat . 
Lievre, Hare ......... 

Lapin, Rabbit 

Putois. Polecat 


Desman, Muskrat 

Ecureuil. Squirrel 

Hermine. Errain 

Rat. Rat _. 

Lerot, Dormouse 

Taupe. Mole 



Elk, round homed 





Cougar of North -America , 
Cougar of South-America. 





Sloth, Unau 


Tatou Kabasaou 

Ureon, Urchin 



Notes on Virginia 



Raccoon. Raton 



Sloth. Ai 

Sapajou Ouarini 

Sapajou Coaita 

Tatou Encubert 

Tatou Apar 

Tatou Cachica 

Little Coendou 

Opossum. Sarigu 





Sapajou S^ 

Tatou Cirquinjon 

Tatou Tatouate 

Mouffette Squash 

Mouffette Chinche 

Mouffette Conepate 


Mouffette. Zorilla 

Whabus. Hare. Rabbit. 



Ondatra. Muskrat 


Great gray squirrel 

Fox squirrel of Virginia, .f 



Sapajou. Sajou 

Indian pig. Cochon d'Inde 

Sapajou Salmiri 



Lesser gray squirrel 

Black squirrel 

Red squirrel 


• • ■ • 


• * • • 


4. a 

• • • 










Jefferson's Works 


Sagoin Saki 

Sagoin Pinche 

Sagoin Tamarin 

Sagoin Ouistiti 

Sagoin Maraldne 

Sagoin Mico 




Sarigue of Cayenne 


Red mole 02. 

Ground squirrel 4 



Cow . . 
Ass.. . 
Hog . 
Ouat . 
C^at . . . 










I have not inserted in the first table the Phoca,* 
nor leather- winged bat, because the one living 
liulf the year in the water, and the other being a 
wingiHl animal, the individuals of each species may 
vwit U>th continents. 

Ml ii* tMiid that this animal is seldom seen above thirty miles from 
^hiJf^. i*r Ujyond the 56th degree of latitude. The interjacent islands 
Wiw«^ A«ia and America admit his passing from one continent to 
ill^ ulHw without exceeding these bounds. And in fact, travelers 
Ml mi IIkiI ihMf^ islands are places of principal resort for them, and 
^9§0Mhf te ^^ weaMoa of bringing forth their yoiing. 

Notes on Virginia 69 

Of the animals in the first table, Monsieur de Buf- 
fon himself informs us, [XXVII, 130, XXX. 213,] 
that the beaver, the otter, and shrew mouse, though 
of the same species, are larger in America than in 
Europe. This should therefore have corrected the 
generality of his expressions, XVIII. 145, and else- 
where, that the animals common to the two coun- 
tries, are considerably less in America than in 
Europe, **et cela sans aucune exception.'' He tells 
tis too, [Quadrup. VIII. 334, edit. Paris, 1777,] that 
on examining a bear from America, he remarked no 
difference, "dans la forme de cet ours d'Amerique 
compar6 a celui d 'Europe," but adds from Bartram's 
journal, that an American bear weighed four hun- 
dred potmds, English, equal to three hundred and 
si:xty-seven pounds French; whereas we find the 
European bear examined by Mons. D'Aubenton, 
PCVII. 82,] weighed but one himdred and forty-one 
pounds French. That the palmated elk is larger 
1^ America than in Etirope, we are informed by 
Kalm,* a naturalist, who visited the former by 
public appointment, for the express ptirpose of 
examining the subjects of natural history. In this 
Wt Pennant conctirs with him. [Barrington's Mis- 
cellanies.] The same Kalm tells us' that the black 
nioose, or renne of America, is as high as a tall horse; 
and Catesby ,' that it is about the bigness of a middle- 

*I. 233. Lon. 1772. 
' lb. 233. 

It •• 


Jefferson's Works 

sized ox. The same accoimt of their size has been 
given me by many who have seen them. But Mon- 
sieur D'Aubenton says' that the renne of Europe is 
about the size of a red deer. The weasel is larger! 
in America than in Europe, as may be seen by com- 
paring its dimensions as reported by Monsieur D'Au- 
benton' and Kalm. The latter tells us,' that the 
lynx, badger, red fox, and flying squirrel, are the same 
in America as in Europe; by which expression I 
understand, they are the same in all material cir- 
cumstances, in size as well as others ; for if they were] 
smaller, they would differ from the European, 
gray fox is, by Catesby's account,' little different in 
size and shape from the European fox. I jjresunie 
he means the red fox of Europe, as does Kalm. where 
he says,' that in size "they do not quite come up to 
our foxes." For proceeding next to the red fox of 
America, he says, "they are entirely the same with 
the European sort;" which shows he had in view 
one European sort only, which was the red. So that 
the result of their testimony is, that the American 
gray fox is somewhat less than the European red; 
which is equally true of the gray fox of Europe, as 
may be seen by comparing the measures of the 
Coimt de Buffon and Monsieur D'Aubenton.* The 

' XXIV. 161. 

■ XV. 41. 

'I. 359- 1.48. "I, aS'- II- S». 

MI. 78. 

• I, 310. 

• XXVII. 63. XIV. 1 19. Harris, II. 387. Buffon. Quad. 




Notes on Virginia 7^ 

white bear of America is as large as that of Eurcpe. 
The bones of the mammoth which has been found 
in America, are as large as those found in the old 
world. It may be asked, why 1 insert the mam- 
moth, as if it still existed? I ask in return, why I 
should omit it, as if it did not exist? Such is the 
economy of nature, that no instance can be produced, 
of her having permitted any one race of her animals 
to become extinct; of her having formed any link 
in her great work so weak as to be broken. To add 
to this, the traditionary testimony of the Indians, 
that this animal still exists in the northern and 
western parts of America, would be adding the light 
of a taper to that of the meridian smi. Those parts 
still remain in their aboriginal state, unexplored and 
undisturbed by us, or by others for us. He may as 
well exist there now, as he did formerly where we 
find his bones. If he be a carnivorous animal, as 
some anatomists have conjectured, and the Indians 
affirm, his early retirement may be accounted for 
from the general destruction of the wild game by 
the Indians, which commences in the first instant 
of their connection with us, for the purpose of pur- 
chasing match-coats, hatchets, and fire-locks, with 
their skins. There remain then the buffalo, red 
deer, fallow deer, wolf, roe, glutton, wild cat, monax, 
bison, hedgehog, marten, and water-rat, of the com- 
parative sizes of which we have not sufficient testi- 
mony. It does not appear that Messieurs de Buffon 
and D'Aubenton have measured, weighed, or seen 

72 Jefferson's Works 

those of America. It is said of some of them, by 
some travellers, that they are smaller tlian the Euro- 
pean. But who were these travellers? Have they 
not been men of a very different description from 
those who have laid open to us the other three quar- 
ters of the world? Was natural history the object 
of their travels? Did they measure or weigh the 
animals they speak of? or did they not judge of 
them by sight, or perhaps even from report only? 
Were they acquainted with the animals of their own 
country, with which they undertake to compare 
them? Have they not been so ignorant as often 
to mistake the species ? A true answer to these 
questions would probably lighten their authority, 
so as to render it insufficient for the foundation of 
an hypothesis. How unripe we yet are, for an accu- 
rate comparison of the animals of the two countries, 
will appear from the work of Monsieur de Buffon. 
The ideas we should have formed of the sizes of 
some animals, from the formation he had received 
at his first publications concerning them, are very 
different from what his subsequent commimications 
give us. And indeed his candor in this can never 
be too much praised. One sentence of his book 
must do him immortal honor. " J'aime autant une 
personne qui me releve d'une erreur, qu'une autre 
qui m'apprend une verity, parce qu'en effet une 
erreur corrig^e est une verity." ' He seems to have 
thought the cabiai he first examined wanted little 
'Quad. IX. 158. 

Notes on Virginia 73 

of its full growth. " II n'etoit pas encore tout-k-fait 
adulte."* Yet he weighed but forty-six and a half 
pKDunds, and he found afterwards,' that these ani- 
mals, when full grown, weigh one hundred pounds. 
He had supposed, from the examination of a jaguar,' 
said to be two years old, which weighed but sixteen 
pounds twelve ounces, that when he should have 
acquired his full growth, he would not be larger than 
a middle-sized dog. But a subsequent account* 
raises his weight to two hundred pounds. Further 
information will, doubtless, produce further correc- 
tions. The wonder is, not that there is yet some- 
thing in this great work to correct, but that there 
is so little. The result of this view then is, that of 
twenty-six quadrupeds common to both countries, 
seven are said to be larger in America, seven of 
equal size, and twelve not sufficiently examined. 
So that the first table impeaches the first member 
of the assertion, that of the animals common to 
both countries, the American are smallest, *'et cela 
sans auctme exception." It shows it is not just, in 
all the latitude in which its author has advanced it, 
and probably not to such a degree as to found a dis- 
tinction between the two coimtries. 

Proceeding to the second table, which arranges 
the animals found in one of the two countries only. 
Monsieur de Buffon observes, that the tapir, the 

• XXV. 184. 

• Quad. IX. 132. 
» XIX. 2. 

• Quad. IX. 41. 


Jefferson's Works 

elephant of America, is but of the size of a small cow. 
To preserve our comparison, I will add, that the wild 
boar, the elephant of Europe, is little more than half 
that size. I have made an elk with round or cylin- 
drical horns an animal of America, and peculiar to 
it; because I have seen many of them myself, and 
more of their horns; and because I can say, from 
the best information, that, in Virginia, this kind 
of elk has abounded much, and still exists in smaller 
numbers; and I could never learn that the palmated 
kind had been seen here at all. I suppose this con- 
fined to the more northern latitudes." I have made 

' The descriptions of Theodat, Denys and La Honton, cited by Mon- 
sieur de BufTon. under the article Elan, authorize the supposition, that 
the flat-homed elk is found in the northern parts of America. It has 
not however extended to our latitudes. On the other hand. I could 
never learn that the round-horned elk has been seen further north th«B 
the Hudson's river. This agrees with the former elk in its general 
character, being, like that, when compared with a deer, very much 
larger, its ears longer, broader, and thicker in proportion, its hair much 
longer, neck and tail shorter, having a dewlap before the breast {carun- 
cula gutturalis Linnsei) a white spot often, if not always, of a foot 
diameter, on the binder part of the buttocks round the tail; its gait 
a trot, and attended with a rattling of the hoofs: but distinguished 
from that decisively by its horns, which arc not palmated. but round 
and pointed. This is the animal described by Catesby as the Cervus 
major Americanus, the stag of America, le Cerf de TAm^rique. But 
it differs from the Cervus as totally as does the palmated elk from the 
dama. And in fact it seems to stand in the same relation to the 
palmated elk. as the red deer docs to the fallow. It has abounded 
in Virginia, has been seen, within my knowledse, on the eastern 
side of the Blue Ridge since the year 1765, is now common beyond 
those mountains, has been often brought to us and tamed, and its 
horns are in the hands of many. I should designate it as the "Alces 
Americantts comibus teredbus." It were to be wished, that natural- 
ists, who are acquainted with the renne and elk of Europe, and who 


Notes on Virginia 75 

our hare or rabbit peculiar, believing it to be differ- 
ent from both the European animals of those denom- 
inations, and calling it therefore by its Algonquin 
name, Whabus, to keep it distinct from these. 
Kalm is of the same opinion,' I have enumerated 
the squirrels according to our own knowledge, de- 
rived from daily sight of them, because I am not 
able to reconcile with that the European appellations 
and descriptions. I have heard of other species, 
but they have never come within my own notice. 
These, I think, are the only instances in which I 
have departed from the authority of Monsievir de 
Buffon in the construction of this table. I take 
liim for my ground work, because I think him the 

may hereafter visit the northern parts of America, would examine 
irdi the animals called there by the names of gray and black moose, 
caribou, original and elfc. Monsieur de BuiTon has done what could 
be done from the materials in his hands, toward clearing up the con- 
fusion introduced by the loose application ot these names among the 
animals they are meant to designate. He reduces the whole to the 
renne and flat-homed elk. From all the information I have been able 
to collect. I strongly suspect they will be found to cover three, if not 
four distinct species of animals. I have seen skins of a moose, and 
o( the caribou: they differ more from each other, and from that of the 
round-horned elk. than I ever saw two skins differ which belonged to 
different individuals of any wild species. These differences are in 
Ihe color, length, and coarseness of the hair, and in the size, texture, 
and marks ot the skin. Perhaps it will be found that there is, i, the 
moose, black and gray, the former being said to be the male, and the 
latter the female; a, the caribou or renne; 3, the flat-horned elk, or 
original; 4, the round-homed elk. Should this last, though possessing 
W nearly the characters of the elk. be found to be the same with the 
Cerf d' Ardennes or Brandhitz ot Germany, still there will remain the 
three species first enumerated, 
' Kalm II, 340, I. 83. 


Jefferson's Works 

best informed of any naturalist who has ever written. 
The result is, that there are eighteen quadrupeds 
peculiar to Europe ; more than four times as many, 
to wit, seventy-four, peculiar to America; that the 
first' of these seventy-four weighs more than the 
whole column of Europeans; and consequently this 
second table disproves the second member of the 
assertion, that the animals peculiar to the new 
world are on a smaller scale, so far as that assertion 
relied on European animals for support; and it is in 
full opposition to the theorj' which makes the animal 
volume to depend on the circumstances of heat and 

The third table comprehends those quadrupeds 
only which are domestic in both countries. That 
some of these, in some parts of America, have be- 
come less than their original stock, is doubtless true; 
and the reason is very obvious. In a thinly-peopled 
country, the spontaneous productions of the forests, 
and waste fields, are sufficient to support indiffer- 
ently the domestic animals of the farmer, with a 

' The Tapir is the largest of the animals peculiar to America. I 
collect his weight thus: Monsieur de Buffon says, XXIII. 874, that 
he is o( the size of a Zebu, or a. small cow. He gives us the measures 
of a Zebu, ib. 4. as taken by himself, \iz, five feet seven inches from 
the muzzle to tlie root of the tail, and five feet one inch circumference 
behind the fore-legs. A bull, measuring in the same way sijc feet nine 
inches and five feet two inches, weighed six hundred pounds, VIII. ijj. 
The Zebu then, and of course the Tapir, would weigh about five hun- 
dred pounds. But one individual of every species of European pecu- 
liars would probably weigh less than tour hundred pounds. These lire 
French measures and weights. 

Notes on Virginia 77 

very little aid from him, in the severest and scarcest 
season. He therefore finds it more convenient to 
receive them from the hand of nature in that indiffer- 
ent state, than to keep up their size by a care and 
nourishment which would cost him much labor. If, 
on this low fare, these animals dwindle, it is no more 
than they do in those parts of Europe where the 
jxjverty of the soil, or the poverty of the owner, 
reduces them to the same scanty subsistence. It is 
the uniform effect of one and the same cause, whether 
acting on this or that side of the globe. It would be 
erring, therefore, against this rule of philosophy, 
which teaches us to ascribe like effects to like causes, 
should we impute this diminution of size in America 
to any imbecility or want of uniformity in the oper- 
ations of nature. It may be affirmed with truth, 
that, in those countries, and with those individuals 
in America, where necessity or curiosity has pro- 
duced equal attention, as in Europe, to the nourish- 
ment of animals, the horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, 
of the one continent are as large as those of the 
other. There are particular instances, well attested, 
where individuals of this country have imported 
good breeders from England, and have improved 
iheir size by care in the course of some j'ears. To 
make a fair comparison between the two countries, 
it will not answer to bring together animals of what 
might be deemed the middle or ordinary size of 
their species; because an error in judging of that 
middle or ordinary size, would vary the result of 

Jefferson's Works 

the comparison. Thus Mons. D'Aubenton' consid- 
ers a horse of 4 feet 5 inches high and 400 lb. 
weight French, equal to 4 feet 8.6 inches and 436 lb. 
English, as a middle-sized horse. Such a one is 
deemed a small horse in America, The extremes 
must therefore be resorted to. The same anatomist' 
dissected a horse of 5 feet 9 inches height, French 
measure, equal to 6 feet 1.7 English. This is near 
6 inches higher than any horse I have seen; and 
could it be supposed that I had seen the largest 
horses in America, the conclusion would be, that 
ours have diminished, or that we have bred from a 
smaller stock. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, 
where the climate is favorable to the production of 
grass, bullocks have been slaughtered which weighed 
2,500, 2,200, and 2,100 lbs. nett; and those of 1,800 
lbs. have been frequent. I have seen a hog* weigh 
1,050 lbs. after the blood, bowels, and hair had been 
taken from him. Before he was killed, an attempt 
was made to weigh him with a pair of steel yards, 
graduated to 1,200 lbs., but he weighed more. Yet 
this hog was probably not within fifty generations 
of the European stock. I am well informed of 
another which weighed 1,100 lbs. gross. Asses have 
been still more neglected than any other domestic 
animal in America. They are neither fed nor 
housed in the most rigorous season of the year. Vet 

' VII. 43= 

• VII. 474. 

* In WilUainsburg, April, 1769. 



Notes on Virginia 79 

they are larger than those measured by Mons. D'Au- 
'benton,' of 3 feet 7J4 inches, 3 feet 4 inches, and 3 
feet 2)4 inches, the latter weighing only 215.8 lbs. 
These sizes, I suppose, have been produced by the 
same negligence in Euroije, which has produced a 
like diminution here. Where care has been taken 
of them on that side of the water, they have been 
raised to a size bordering on that of the horse; not 
by the heat and dryness of the climate, but by good 
food and shelter. Goats have been also much neg- 
lected in America. Yet they are very prolific here, 
bearing twice or three times a year, and from one to 
five kids at a birth. Mons. de Buffon has been sen- 
sible of a difference in this circumstance in favor of 
America.* But what are their greatest weights, I 
cannot say, A large sheep here weighs 100 lbs. I 
observe Mons. D'Aubenton calls a ram of 62 lbs. one 
of the middle size.' But to say what are the extremes 
of growth in these and the other domestic animals 
of America, would require information of which no 
one individual is possessed. The weights actually 
known and stated in the third table preceding will 
suffice to show, that we may conclude on probable 
grounds, that, with equal food and care, the climate 
of America will preserve the races of domestic 
animals as large as the European stock from which 
Hiey are derived ; and, consequently, that the third 

•VIII. 48. 55, 66. 
• XVIII. 96. 

Jefferson's Works 

member of Mons. de Buffon's assertion that the 
domestic animals are subject to degeneration from 
the climate of America, is as probably wrong as the 
first and second were certainly so. 

That the last part of it is erroneous, which affirms 
that the species of American quadrupeds are com- 
paratively few, is evident from the tables taken 
together. By these it appears that there are an 
hundred species aboriginal in America. Mons. de 
Buffon supposes about double that number existing 
on the whole earth.' Of these Europe, Asia, and 
Africa, furnish sup]X>se one hundred and twenty- 
six; that is, the twenty-six common to Europe and 
America, and about one hundred which are not in 
America at all. The American species, then, are to 
those of the rest of the earth, as one hundred to one 
hundred and twenty-six, or four to five. But the 
residue of the earth being double the extent of Amer- 
ica, the exact proportion would have been but as 
four to eight. 

Hitherto I have considered this hypothesis as 
applied to brute animals only, and not in its exten- 
sion to the man of America, whether aboriginal or 
transplanted. It is the opinion of Mons, de Biiffon 
that the former furnishes no exception to it.' 

"Quoique le sauva^e du nouvcau monde soil ^ peu pr£s de m^rne 
ftatureqiie rhomme de nutre monde, cela ne suffit pas pourqu'il puisse 
faire une exception au fait g^iiiral durapetisseinent dela nature vivante 
dans tout cecontiD<3)ti lesauvageest foible et petit paries orsanesde 

' XXX. 219- 
'XVIII. 146. 


Notes on Virginia 

U gln6ra.tioti: il n'ani poi!, ni barbe, and nulle ardeur pour sa f«tielte. 
Quoique plus Ifger que I'Europ^en, parce qu'il a plus d'habitude k 
courir, LI est cependant beaucoup moins fort de corps; i! est aussi bien 
moins sensible, et cependant plus craintif et plus lAchc; il n'a nulle 
i-ii'aciti.u-iille activity dans rarpe:celleducorpH est moins un exercise, un 
raouvetnent volontaire <iu'une n^cessitf d'action causae par le bcsoin; 
dt«zluiIafaiaietlasaif,vousdetruirezen inline terns le principe actif de 
tous sps mouvemens : il demeurera stu pi dement en repos sur ses jambes 
ou coucM pendant des jours entiers. II ne faut pas aller chercher plus 
loin i cause de la vie disperse des sativagcs et de leur ^loignement 
pour la society; la plus prfcteuse ^tincelle du feu de la nature leur a 
ftirefusee: i]snianf|ucnt d'ardeurpourteurfemelle, et par consequent 
d'amaur pour leur semblables; ne connoissant pas Tattachment le 
plus vif, le plus tendre de tous, leurs autres sentimens de ce genre, 
mnl froids et languissans; ila aiment foiblemcnt leurs p^res et leurs 
enfans: la sodfti la plus intime de toutes, celle de la m^me famille, 
n'B done chez eux que de foibles liens: lasocift^ d'une famille il I'autre 
n'enapmnt de tout; d^s lors nulle reunion, nulle rfpubUc|ue, nulle ^tat 
(odal. La physique de I'amour fait chez eux le moral des mceurs; 
lenrcnur est glac^. leur soci^-tf- et leur empire dur, lis ne regardent 
leurs temmesquecomme des servantes de peine ou des bfites de somme 
qn'ils chargent, sans management, du fardeau de leur chasse, et qu'ils 
foTtent.sans pilii^. sans reconnaissance. 4 des ouvrages qui souvent sont 
»o dessus de leurs forces; ils n'ont que pcu d'enfans; ils en ont peu de 
sain; tmit se ressent de leur premier defaut ; ils sont indifff rents parce 
qu'ils sont peu puissants. et cette indifFerence pour le sexe est la tache 
'Tigitielle qui flftrit la nature, qui I'cmpeche de s'^panouir. et qui de- 
truisant les germes de la vie, coupe en m6me temps la racine de sod£tj. 
L'taijinme ne fait done point d'eiceptionici. La nature en lui reCusant 
Ih puissances de ramour I'a plus maltrait^ et plus rapetissf qu'aucun 

An afflicting picture, indeed, which for the honor 
of human nature, I am glad to believe has no original. 
Of the Indian of South America I know nothing; for, 
I would not honor with the appellation of knowledge, 
what I derive from the fables published of them. 
These I believe to be just as true as the fables of 
.-Esop. This belief is founded on what I have seen 

^H of mai 

^H writtei 

Jefferson's Works 

of man, white, red, and black, and what has been 
■written of him by authors, enlightened themselves, 
and writing among an enlightened people. The 
Indian of North America being more within oiir 
reach, I can speak of him somewhat from ray own 
knowledge, but more from the information of others 
better acquainted with him, and on whose truth 
and judgment I can rely. From these sources I am 
able to say, in contradiction to this representation, 
that he is neither more defective in ardor, nor more 
impotent with his female, than the white reduced 
to the same diet and exercise ; that he is brave, when 
an enterprise depends on bravery; education with 
him making the point of honor consist in the destruc- 
tion of an enemy by stratagem, and in the preser- 
vation of his own person free from injury; or, per- 
haps, this is nature, while it is education which 
teaches us to' honor force more than finesse; that 
he will defend himself against a host of enemies, 
always choosing to be killed, rather than to surren- 
der,' though it be to the whites, who he knows wili 

' Sol Rodomonle spre«za di venire 
Senon, dove la viamenofi ficura. — AmoSTo, 14, iiy. 
' In so judicious an author as Don Ulloa, and one to whom we are 
indebted for the most precise information we have of South America. 
I did not expect to find such assertions as the following: " Los Indios 
vencidos son los mas cobardes y pusilanimea que se peuden v6r: Se 
bacen nflctntes, le humillan hasta el desprecio, discuipan su idcoq- 
siderado arrojo, y con las suplicas y los megos dan aeguras pruebas 
de su puailanimidad, 6 lo que resieren las historias de la Conquista. 
sobre BUS graiides acciones, es en un sendito ligurado, 6 el caracter <te 
estas gentes uo es ahorasegun eraentonces; perolo que no tione dud» 
es, que las Naciones de la parte St-ptentriona! subsislen en la 

Notes on Virginia 


treat him well ; that in other situations, also, he meets 
death with more deliberation, and endures tortures 
with a firmness unknown almost to religious enthu- 
siasm with us; that he is affectionate to his chil- 
dren, careful of them, and indulgent in the extreme; 
that his affections comprehend his other connections, 
weakening, as with us, from circle to circle, as they 
recede from the centre; that his friendships are 
strong and faithful to the uttermost' extremity; 

libertad que siempre ban tenido. sin haber sido sojuzgados por algon 
Principe extrano, y que viven segun su rdgimen y costumbres de toda 
la vida. sin que haya habido motivo para que rauden de caracter; y 
en estos se v^ lo mismo, que sucede en los Pern, y de toda la America 
meridional, reduddos, y que nunca lo han estado." Noticias Amer- 
icinas, Bntretcnimiento xviii. { I. Don Ulloa here admits, that the 
littbors who have described the Indians of South America, before they 
wre enslaved, had represented them as a bravo people, and therefore 
wms to have suspected that the cowardice which he had observed in 
those o( the present race might be the effect ot subjugation. But, 
wppostng the Indians of North America to be cowards also, he con- 
dndes the ancestors of those of South America to have been so too, 
Mid, therefore, that those authors have given fictions for truth. He 
*M probably not acquainted himself with the Indians of North Amer- 
ica, and had formed his opinion from hearsay. Great numbers of 
French, of English, and of Americans, are perfectly acciuainted with 
theae people. Had he had an opportunity of imiuiring of any ot these. 
iSey would have told him, that there never was an instance known of 
an Indian begging his Ufe when in the power of his enemies; on the 
lintrary, that he courts death by every possible insult and provoca- 
iion. His reasoning, then, would have been reversed thus: "Since 
the present Indian of North America is brave, and authors tell us that 
'he ancestors of those of South America were brave also, it must follow 
that the cowardice of their descendants is the eflect of subjugation and 
'II treatment," For he observes, ib, ( 37, that "los obrages los ani- 
liillan porlainhumanidadcon que se les trata," 

' A remarkable instance of this appeared in the case of the late 
Colonel Byrd, who was sent to the Cherokee nation to transact some 


&♦ Jefferson's Works 

that his sensibility is keen, even the warriors weep- 
ing most bitterly on the loss of their children, though 
in general they endeavor to appear superior to 
human events; that his vivacity and activity of mind 
is equal to ours in the same situation; hence his 
eagerness for hunting, and for games of chance. The 
women are submitted to unjust drudgery. This I 
believe is the case with every barbarous people. 
With such, force is law. The stronger sex imposes 
on the weaker. It is civilization alone which re- 
places women in the enjoyment of their natural 
equality. That first teaches us to subdue the selfish 
passions, and to respect those rights in others which 
we value in ourselves. Were we in equal barbarism, 
our females would be equal drudges. The man with 
them is less strong than with us, but their women 
stronger than ours; and both for the same obvious 
reason ; because our man and their woman is habit- 
uated to labor, and formed by it. With both races 

business with them. It happened that stime of our disorderly people 
had just killed one or two of that nation. It was therefore proposed 
in the council of the Cherokees that Colonel Byrd should be put to 
death, in revenge for the loss of their countrymen. Among them wai 
a chief named Silduee, who, on some former occasion, had contracted 
an acquaintance and friendship with Colonel Byrd. He came to him 
every night in hia tent, and told him not to be afraid, they should not 
kill him. After many days' deliberation, however, the determination 
was. contrary to Sil6uee's eipectation, that Byrd should be put to 
death, and some warriors were despatched as executioners. Silduee 
attended them, and when they entered the tent, he threw himself 
between them and Byrd, and said to the warriors, "This man is my 
friend; before you get at him. you must kill me." On which they 
returned, and the council respected the principle so much as to reoeda 
from their determination. 

Notes on Virginia 85 

the sex which is indulged with ease is the least 
athletic. An Indian man is small in the hand and 
\^Tist, for the same reason for which a sailor is large 
and strong in the arms and shoulders, and a porter 
in the legs and thighs. They raise fewer children 
than we do. The causes of this are to be found, not 
in a difference of nature, but of circumstance. The 
women very frequently attending the men in their 
parties of war and of hunting, child-bearing becomes 
extremely inconvenient to them. It is said, there- 
fore, that they have learned the practice of procur- 
ing abortion by the use of some vegetable; and that 
it even extends to prevent conception for a consid- 
erable time after. During these parties they are 
exposed to numerous hazards, to excessive exertions, 
to the greatest extremities of hunger. Even at 
their homes the nation depends for food, through a 
certain part of every year, on the gleanings of the 
forest; that is, they experience a famine once in 
every year. With all animals, if the female be 
badly fed, or not fed at all, her young perish; and if 
both male and female be reduced to like want, gener- 
ation becomes less active, less productive. To the 
obstacles, then, of want and hazard, which nature 
has opposed to the multiplication of wild animals, 
for the purpose of restraining their numbers within 
certain bounds, those of labor and of voluntary 
abortion are added with the Indian. No wonder, 
then, if they multiply less than we do. Where food 
is regularly supplied, a single farm will show more 

■ of cattle 

H buffaloes 

Jefferson's Works 

of cattle, than a whole country of forests can of 
buffaloes. The same Indian women, when married 
to white traders, who feed them and their children 
plentifully and regularly, who exempt them from 
excessive drudgery, who keep them stationary and 
unexposed to accident, produce and raise as many 
children as the white women. Instances are known, 
under these circumstances, of their rearing a dozen 
children. An inhuman practice once prevailed in 
this coimtr>-, of making slaves of the Indians. It is 
a fact well known with us, that the Indian women 
so enslaved produced and raised as numerous fani- 
lies as either the whites or blacks among whom they 
lived. It has been said that Indians have less hair 
than the whites, except on the head. But this is a 
fact of which fair proof can scarcely be had. With 
them it is disgraceful to be hairy on the body. They 
say it likens them to hogs. They therefore pluck 
the hair as fast as it appears. But the traders who 
marry their women, and prevail on them to discon- 
tinue this practice, say, that nature is the same with 
them as with the whites. Nor, if the fact be true, 
is the consequence necessary which has been drawn 
from it. Negroes have notoriously less hair than 
the whites; yet they are more ardent. But if cold 
and moisture be the agents of nature for diminish- 
ing the races of animals, how comes she all at once 
to suspend their operation as to the physical man of 
the new world, whom the Count acknowledges to be 
" h. peu pr6s de m^me stature que I'homme de notre 

Notes on Virginia 


monde," and to let loose tlieir influence on his moral 
faculties? How has this "combination of the ele- 
ments and other physical causes, so contrary to the 
enlargement of animal nature in this new world, 
these obstacles to the development and formation of 
great germs,"' been arrested and suspended, so as 
to permit the human body to acquire its just dimen- 
sions, and by what inconceivable process has their 
action been directed on his mind alone? To judge 
of the truth of this, to form a just estimate of their 
genius and mental powers, more facts are wanting, 
and great allowance to be made for those circum- 
stances of their situation which call for a display of 
particular talents only. This done, we shall prob- 
ably find that they are formed in mind as well as in 
body, on the same module with the' " Homo sapiens 
Europ^eus." The principles of their society for- 
bidding all compulsion, they are to be led to duty 
and to enterprise by personal influence and persua- 
sion. Hence eloquence in council, bravery and ad- 
dress in war, become the foundations of all conse- 
quence with them. To these acquirements all their 
faculties are directed. Of their bravery and address 
in war we have multiplied proofs, because we have 
"been the subjects on which they were exercised. Of 
their eminence in oratory we have fewer examples, 
because it is displayed chiefly in their own councils. 
Some, however, we have, of very superior lustre. I 

» XVIIl. 146. 

* r.f'nr I Syst. Definition of a Man. 

88 Jefferson's Works 

may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes 
and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if 
Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a 
single passage, superior to the speech of Logan, a 
Mingo chief, to Lord Dunmore, then governor of 
this State. And as a testimony of their talents in 
this line, I beg leave to introduce it, first stating the 
incidents necessary for understanding it. 

In the spring of the year 1774, a robbery was com- 
mitted by some Indians on certain land-adventurers 
on the river Ohio, The whites in that quarter, 
according to their custom, undertook to punish this 
outrage in a summary way. Captain Michael 
Cresap, and a certain Daniel Greathouse, leading on 
these parties, surprised, at different times, travel- 
ling and hunting parties of the Indians, having their 
women and children with them, and murdered 
many. Among these were unfortunately the family 
of Logan, a chief celebrated in peace and war, and 
long distinguished as the friend of the whites. This 
unworthy return provoked his vengeance. He ac- 
cordingly signalized himself in the war which ensued. 
In the autumn of the same year a decisive battle was 
fought at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, between 
the collected forces of the Shawanese, Mingoes and 
Delawares, and a detachment of the Virginia militia. 
The Indians were defeated and sued for peace. 
Logan, however, disdained to be seen among the 
suppliants. But lest the sincerity of a treaty should 
be disturbed, from which so distinguished a chief 


Notes on Virginia 

absented himself, he sent, by a messenger, the fol- 
lowing speech, to be delivered to Lord Dunmore: 
*' I app>eal to any white man to say, if ever he 
I entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not 
Imeat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed 
Shim not. During the course of the last long and 
ibloody war Logan remained idle in his cabin, an 
■advocate for peace. Such was my love for the 
I whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, 
and said, 'Logan is the friend of white men.' I 
had even thought to have lived with you, but for the 
injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, 
in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the 
relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and 
children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the 
veins of any living creature. This called on me for 
revenge. I have sought it: I have killed many: I 
have fully glutted my vengeance: for my country I 
cjoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a 
hought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never 
dt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his 
Who is there to mourn for Logan? — Not one.'" 

' Phi 

December 3 
cated to me the inquiri 


Dbar Sir, — Mr. Tazewell has cc 

Eluve been so kind as to make, relative to a passage in the " Notes o 

I Vrginia," which hai! lately excited some newspaper publications. I 

foel, with great sensibility, the interest you take in this business, and 

with pleasure, go into explanations with one whose objects I know to 

be truth and justice alone. Had Mr. Martin thought proper to sug- 

1 gest to me. that doubts might be entertained of the transaction re- 

Ifapecting Logan, as staled in the " Notes on Virginia," and to inquire 

lion what grounds that etatement was founded, I should have felt 

Jefferson's Works 

Before we condemn the Indians of this continei 
as wanting genius, we must consider that letters i 

myself obliged by the inquiry; have informed him candidly of the 
grounds, and cordially have co-operated in every means of investi- 
gating the fact, and correcting whatsoever in it should be found to 
have been erroneous. But he chose to step at once into the news- 
papers, and in his publications there and the letters he wrote to me, 
adopted a style which forbade the respect of an answer. Sensible, 
however, that no act of his could absolve me from the justice due to 
others, as soon as I found that the story of Logan could be doubted, 
I determined to ini|uire into it as accurately as the testimony remain- 
ing, after a lapse of twenty odd years, would permit, and that the 
result should be made known, either in the first new edition which 
should be printed of the " Notes on Virginia." or by publishing aji 
appendix. I thought that so far as that work had contributed to 
impeach the memory of Cresap, by handing on an erroneous charge 
it was proper it should be made the vehicle of retribution. Not that 
I was at all the author of the injury ; 1 had only conciured. with thou- 
sands and thousands of others, in believing a transaction on authority 
which merited respect. For the story of Logan is only repeated 
in the " Notes on Virginia," precisely as it had been current for mortt 
than a dozen years before they were published. When Lord Dun* 
more returned from the expedition against the Indians, tn i 
and his officers brought the speech of Logan, and related the 
stances of it. These were so affecting, and the speech itself i 
morsel of eloquence, that it became the theme of every conve^raatii 
in Williamsburg particularly, and generally, indeed, wheresoever any- 
at the officers resided or resorted. I learned it in Williamsburg, I 
believe at Lord Dunmore's ; and I find in my pocket-book of that year 
([ 774) an entry of the narrative, as taken from the mouth of some per- 
son, whose name, however, is not noted, nor recollected, precisely in 
the words stated in the " Notes on Virginia." The speech was pub- 
lished in the Virginia Gazette of that time, (I ha\'e it myself tn the 
volume of gazettes of that year,) and though it was the translation 
made by the common interpreter, and iq a style by no means elegant, 
yet it was so admired, that it flew through all the public papers of the 
continent, and through the maga/inea and other periodical publica- 
tions of Great Britain; and those who were boys at that day win now. 
attest, that the speech of Logon used to be given them 
exercise for repetition. It was not till about thirteen 

em as a schog()^^| 
en or fourteeM^^H 


Notes on Virginia 

have not yet been introduced among them. Were 
we to compare them in their present state with the 

years after the newspaper publications, that the " Notes on Virginia" 
wen; published in America. Combating, in these, the contumelious 
theory of certain European writers, whose celebrity gave currency and 
weight to their opinions, that our cnuntry from the combined effects 
of soil and climate, degenerated animal nature, in the general, and 
particularly the moral faculties of man, I considered the speech of 
Logan as an apt proof of the contrary, and used it as such; and I 
copied, verbatim, the narrative I had taken down in 1774, and the 
speech as it had been given us in a better translation by Lord Dun- 
more. I knew nothing of the Cresaps. and could not possibly have a 
motive to do them an injury with design. I repeated what thousands 
had done before, on as good authority as we have for most of the facts 
we learn through life, and such as, to this moment, I have seen no 
reason to doubt. That any body questioned it. was never suspected 
by me, till 1 saw the letter of Mr. Martin in the Baltimore paper. I 
endeavored then to recollect who among my contemporaries, of the 
same circle of society, and consequently of the same recollections, 
might still be alive; three and twenty years of death and dispersion 
had left very few. I remembered, however, that General Gibson was 
still living, and knew that he had been the translator of the speech. 
I wrote to him immediately. He, in answer, declares to me. that he 
vr&s the very person sent by Lord Dunmore to the Indian town; that, 
after he had delivered his message there, Logan took him out to a 
neighboring wood; sat down with him, and rehearsing, with tears, the 
catastrophe of his family, gave him that speech for Lord Dunmore; 
that he carried it to Lord Dunmore; translated it for him; has turned 
to it in the Encyclopedia, as taken from the " Notes on Virginia." and 
finds that it was his translation I had used, with only two or three 
verbal variations of no importance. These, I suppose, had arisen in 
of successive copies. I cite General Gibson's letter by 
memory, not having it with me; but I am sure I cite it substantially 
right. It establishes unquestionably, that the speech of Logan is 
genuine; and that being established, it is Logan himself who is author 
of all the important facts. " Colonel Cresap," says he, "in cold blood 
and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even 
ind children; there runs not a drop of my blood in the 
\s of any living creature." The person and the tact, in all its mate- 
rial drcurastances, are here given by Logan himself. General Gibson, 

9^ Jefferson's Works 

Europeans, north of the Alps, when tiie Romaii 
arms and arts first crossed those mountains, the 
comparison would be unequal, because, at that trnie, 
those parts of Europe were swarming with numbers; 

indeed, 6a>'s, that the title was mistaken; that Cresap was a Captain, 
and not a Colonel. This was Logan*s mistake. He also obserx-es, that 
it was on another water of the Ohio, and not on the Kanhaway, that 
his family was killed. This is an error which has crept into tbe tra- 
ditionary account; but surely of little moment in tbe mond view oi 
the subject. The material question is, was Logan*s family murdered, 
and by whom ? That it was murdered has not, I bdieve, been denied; 
that it was by one of the Cresaps, Logan affirms. This is a qnesdon 
which concerns the memories of Logan and Cresap; to the issue of 
which I am as indifferent as if I had never heard the name of cither. 
I have begun and shall continue to inquire into the evidence additional 
to Logan's, on which the fact was founded. Little, indeed, can now 
be heard of, and that little dispersed and distant. If it shall appear 
on inquiry, that Logan has been wrong in charging Cresap with the 
murder of his family, I will do justice to the memory of Cresap. as far 
as I have contributed to the injury, by believing and repeating what 
others had believed and repeated before me. If, on the other hand, 
I find that Logan was right in his charge, I will vindicate, as far as my 
suffrage may go, the truth of a Chief, whose talents and misfortunes 
have attached to him the respect and commiseration of the world. 

I have gone, my dear Sir, into this lengthy detail to satisfy a mind, 
in the candor and rectitude of which I have the highest confideiKe. 
So far as you may incline to use the communication for rectifying the 
judgments of those who are willing to see things truly as they are, 3roa 
are free to use it. But I pray that no confidence which you may r epose 
in any one, may induce you to let it go out of your hands, so as to get 
into a newspaper: against a contest in that field I am entirely decided. 
I feel extraordinary gratification, indeed, in addressing this letter to 
you, with whom shades of difference in political sentiment have not 
prevented the interchange of good opinion, nor cut off the Mendly 
offices of society and good correspondence. This political tolerance 
is the more valued by me, who consider social harmony as the first of 
human felicities, and the happiest moments, those which are given to 
the effusions of the heart. Accept them sincerely, I pray you, from 
one who has the honor to be, with sentiments of high respect and at- 
tachment, dear Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant. 


Notes on Virginia 93 

because numbers produce emulation, and multiply 
the chances of improvement, and one improvement 
begets another. Yet I may safely ask, how many 
good poets, how many able mathematicians, how 
many great inventors in arts or sciences, had Europe, 
north of the Alps, then produced ? And it was six- 
teen centuries after this before a Newton could be 
formed. I do not mean to deny that there are 
varieties in the race of man, distinguished by their 
powers both of body and mind. I believe there are, 
as I see to be the case in the races of other animals. 
I only mean to suggest a doubt, whether the bulk 
and faculties of animals depend on the side of the 
Atlantic on which their food happens to grow, or 
"which furnishes the elements of which they are com- 
pounded? Whether nature has enlisted herself as 
a Cis or Trans-Atlantic partisan? I am induced to 
suspect there has been more eloquence than sound 
xeasoning displayed in support of this theory; that 
it is one of those cases where the judgment has been 
seduced by a glowing pen ; and whilst I render every 
tribute of honor and esteem to the celebrated zoolo- 
^st, who has added, and is still adding, so many 
fcrtwecious things to the treasures of science, I must 
^Kdoubt whether in this instance he has not cherished 
^urror also, by lending her for a moment his vivid 
^imagination and bewitching language. (4) 
f So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new 
theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her pro- 
ductions on this side the Atlantic. Its application 


94 Jefferson's Works 

to the race of whites transplanted from Europe, 
remained for the AbbiS Raynal. "On doit etre 
etonn^ (he says) que TAm^rique n'ait pas encore 
produit un bon poete, un habile math^maticien. un 
homme de g^nie dans un seul art, ou seule science." 
Hist. Philos. p. 92, ed. Macstricht, 1774. "America 
has not yet produced one good poet." When we 
shall have existed as a people as long as the Greeks 
did before they produced a Homer, the Romans a 
Virgil, the French a Racine and Voltaire, the Eng- 
lish a Shakespeare and Milton, should this reproach 
be still true, we will inquire from what unfriendly 
causes it has proceeded, that the other countries of 
Europe and quarters of the earth shall not have 
inscribed any name in the roll of poets.' But 
neither has America produced "one able mathema- 
tician, one man of genius in a single art or a single 
science." In war we have produced a Washington, 
whose memory wUl be adored while liberty shall 
have votaries, whose name shall triumph over time, 
and will in future ages assume its just station among 
the most celebrated worthies of the world, when that 
wretched philosophy shall be forgotten which woiUd 
have arranged him among the degeneracies of nature. 
In physics we have produced a Franklin, than whom 

' Has the world as yet produced more than two poets, acknowledged 
to be such by all nations? An Englishman only reads Milton with 
delight, an Italian. Tasso. a Frenchman the Henriade; a Portuguese, 
Catnoens; but Homer and Virgil have been the rapture of every age 
and nation; thi-y are ri.-ad with enthusiasm in their originals by those 
who can read the originals, and in translations by those who cannot. 


Notes on Virginia 95 

no one of the present age has made more important 
discoveries, nor has enriched philosophy with more, 
or more ingenious solutions of the phenomena of 
nature. We have supposed Mr. Rittenhouse second 
to no astronomer living; that in genius he must be 
the first, because he is self taught. As an artist he 
has exhibited as great a proof of mechanical genius 
as the world has ever produced. He has not indeed 
made a world; but he has by imitation approached 
nearer its Maker than any man who has lived from 
the creation to this day.* As in philosophy and 
war, so in government, in oratory, in painting, in the 
plastic art, we might show that America, though but 
a child of yesterday, has already given hopeful 
proofs of genius, as well as of the nobler kinds, which 
arouse the best feelings of man, which call him into 
action, which substantiate his freedom, and con- 
duct him to happiness, as of the subordinate, which 
serve to amuse him only. We therefore suppose, 
that this reproach is as imjust as it is imkind: and 
that, of the geniuses which adorn the present age, 
America contributes its full share. For comparing 
it with those cotmtries where genius is most culti- 
vated, where are the most excellent models for art, 
and scaffoldings for the attainment pf science, as 
France and England for instance, we calculate thus : 

* There are various ways of keeping truth out of sight. Mr. Ritten- 
house's model of the planetary system has the plagiary application of 
an Orrery; and the quadrant invented by Godfrey, an American also, 
and with the aid of which the European nations traverse the globe, is 
called Hadley's quadrant. 


Jefferson's Works 

The United States contains three millions of inhabi- 
tants; France twenty millions; and the British 
islands ten. We produce a Washington, a Frank- 
lin, a Rittenhouse. France then should have half 
a dozen in each of these lines, and Great Britain 
half that number, equally eminent. It may be true 
that France has; we are but just becoming ac- 
quainted with her, and our acquaintance so far 
gives us high ideas of the genius of her inhabitants. 
It would be injuring too many of them to name 
particularly a Voltaire, a Buffon, the constellation 
of Encyclopedists, the Abb6 Raynal himself, etc., 
etc. We, therefore, have reason to believe she can 
produce her full quota of genius. The present war 
having so long cut off all communication with Great 
Britain, we are not able to make a fair estimate of 
the state of science in that country. The spirit in 
which she wages war, is the only sample before our 
eyes, and that does not seem the legitimate off- 
spring either of science or of civilization. The sun 
of her glory is fast descending to the horizon. Her 
philosophy has crossed the channel, her freedom 
the Atlantic, and herself seems passing to that 
awful dissolution whose issue is not given human 
foresight to scan.' 

' In a later edition of the AbW Rajmal's work, he has withdrawn his 
censure from that part of the new world inhabited by the Federo-,\ni*r- 
icans; but haii left it still on the other parts. North America has 
always been more accessible to strangers than South. If he was mis- 
taken then as to the former, he may be so as to the latter. The glim- 
merings which reach us from South America enable us to see that its 


Notes on Virginia 97 

Having given a sketch of our minerals, vegeta- 
bles, and quadrupeds, and being led by a proud 
theory to make a comparison of the latter with 
those of Europe, and to extend it to the man of 
America, both aboriginal and emigrant, I will pro- 
ceed to the remaining articles comprehended under 
the present querj'. 

Between ninety and a hundred of our birds have 
been described by Catesby. His drawings are bet- 
ter as to form and attitude than coloring, which is 
generally too high. They are the following (see 
pages 98, 99 and 100) : 
Besides these, we have. 

The Royston crow. Corvua cor- The Ground swallow. Hirnndo 

nix. riparia. 

Crane. Ardea Canadensis. Greatest gray eagle. 

HoQGe swallow. Hirundo Smaller turkey buzzard, with 

rustica. a feathered head. 

inhabitants are held under the accumulated pressure of slavery, super- 
stition and ignorance. Whenever they shall be able to rise under this 
"dght. and to show themselves to the rest of the world, they will prob- 
acy show they are like the rest of the world. We have not yet suJli- 
cioit evidence that there are more lakes and fogs in South America 
than in other parts of the earth. As little do we know what would be 
Ihdr operation on the mind of man. That country has been visited 
by Spaniards and Portuguese chiefly, and almost exclusively. These, 
going from a country of the old world remarkably dry in its soil and 
climate, fancied there were more lakes and fogs in South America than 
in Europe. An inhabitant of Ireland, Sweden, or Finland would have 
formed the contrary opinion. Had South America then been discov- 
ered and settled by a peojjle from a fenny country, it would probably 
have been represented as much drier than the old world. A patient 
pursuit of facts, and cautious combination and comparison of them, is 
the drudgery to which man is suljected by his Maker, if he wishes to 
attain sure knowledge. 



Jefferson's Works 










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Notes on Virginia 




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Notes on Virginia 


The Greatest ovl. or night hawk. 

Wet hawk, which feeds fly- 


Water Pelican of the Missis- 
sippi, whose pouch holds a 




Duck and mallard. 


Sheldrach, or Canvas back. 

Black head. 


TheSprigtail * 

Didapper', oy dopchick. 
Spoon-billed duck. 
Blue Peter. 
Water Wagtail. 
Yellow-legged Snipe. 
Squatting Snipe. 
Small Plover. 
Whistling Plover. 

Red bird, with black head, 
wings and tail. 

And doubtless many others which have not yet 
been described and classed. 

To this catalogue of our indigenous animals, I will 
add a short account of an anomaly of nature, taking 
place sometimes in the race of negroes brought from 
Africa, who, though black themselves, have, in rare 
instances, white children, called Albinos. I have 
known four of these myself, and have faithful ac- 
counts of three others. The circimistances in which 
all the individuals agree are these. They are of a 
pallid cadaverous white, untinged with red, without 
any colored spots or seams; their hair of the same 
kmd of white, short, coarse, and curled as is that of 
the negro ; all of them well formed, strong, healthy, 
perfect in their senses, except that of sight, and bom 
of parents who had no mixture of white blood. 
Three of these Albinos were sisters, having two 
other full sisters, who were black. The youngest 

loa Jefferson's Works 

of the three was killed by lightning, at 12 years 
of age. ■ The eldest died at about 27 years of age, 
in child-bed, with her second child. The middle 
one, is now alive, in health, and has issue, as the 
eldest had, by a black man, which issue was black. 
They are uncommonly shrewd, quick in their appre- 
hensions and in reply. Their eyes are in a perpetual 
tremulous vibration, very weak, and much affected 
by the sim; but they see much better in the night 
than we do. They are of the property of Colonel 
Skipwith, of Ciunberland. The fourth is a negro 
woman, whose parents came from Guinea, and had 
three other children, who were of their own color. 
She is freckled, her eye-sight so weak that she is 
obliged to wear a bonnet in the summer; but it is 
better in the night than day. She had an Albino 
child by a black man. It died at the age of a few 
weeks. These were tlie property of Colonel Carter. 
of Albemarle. A sixth instance is a woman the 
property of Mr. Butler, near Petersburg. She is 
stout and robust, has issue a daughter, jet black, by 
a black man. I am not informed as to her eye- 
sight. The seventh instance is of a male belonging 
to a Mr. Lee of Cumberland. His eyes are tremu- 
lous and weak. He is tall of stature, and now 
advanced in years. He is the only male of the 
Albinos which have come within my information. 
Whatever be the cause of the disease in the skin, 
or in its coloring matter, which produces this change, 
it seems more incident to the female than male sex. 

Notes on Virginia 


To these I may add the mention of a negro man 
within my own knowledge, bom black, and of black 
parents; on whose chin, when a boy, a white spot 
appeared. This continued to increase till he be- 
came a man, by which time it had extended over his 
I chin, lips, one cheek, the under jaw, and neck on that 
I side. It is of the Albino white, without any mix- 
_ ture of red, and has for several years been station- 
ary. He is robust and healthy, and the change of 
I color was not accomi^anied with any sensible disease, 
] either general or topical. 

Of our fish and insects there has been nothing like 
a full description or collection. More of them are 
described in Catesby than in any Other work. Many 
also are to be found in Sir Hans Sloane's Jamaica, 
as being common to that and this country. The 
honey-bee is not a native of our continent. Marc- 
grave, indeed, mentions a species of honey-bee in 
Brazil. But this has no sting, and is therefore dif- 
ferent from the one we have, which resembles per- 
fectly that of Europe. The Indians concur with 
us in the tradition that it was brought from Europe; 
' but when, and by whom, we know not. The bees 
I have generally extended themselves into the country, 
a little in advance of the white settlers. The In- 
■ dians, therefore, call them the white man's fly, and 
f consider their approach as indicating the approach 
' of the settlements of the whites. A question here 
occurs, How far northwardly have these insects been 
foimd? That they are unknown in Lapland, I infer 

I04 Jefferson's Works 

from Scheffer's information, that the Laplanders 
eat the pine bark, prepared in a certain way, instead 
of those things sweetened with sugar. "Hoc com- 
edimt pro rebus saccharo conditis." ScheflE. Lapp, 
c. 1 8. Certainly if they had honey, it would be a 
better substitute for sugar than any preparation of 
the pine bark. Kalm tells us* the honey-bee cannot 
live through the winter in Canada. They furnish 
then an additional fact first observed by the Count 
de Buffon, and which has thrown such a blaze of 
light on the field of natural history, that no animals 
are fotmd in both continents, but those which are 
able to bear the cold of those regions where they 
probably join. 


A notice of all that can increase the progress of 

Human Knowledge? 

Under the latitude of this query, I will presume 
it not improper nor unacceptable to furnish some 
data for estimating the climate of Virginia. Journals 
of observations on the quantity of rain, and degree 
of heat, being lengthy, confused, and too minute to 
produce general and distinct ideas, I have taken five 
years' observations, to wit, from 1772 to 1777, made 
in Williamsburg and its neighborhood, have reduced 
them to an average for every month in the year, and 
stated those averages in the following table, adding 

" 1. 126. 

Notes on Virginia 105 

an analytical view of the winds during the same 


gn:»l«l daily 













Hay . 

Dec. . 





41 10 4TM 
48 to S4H 
S6 to6.M 

6i to joM 

^^ to8.M 


69Wt0 7.M 
6.M to 66M 

47H to sjH 

43 i«*m 























The Tains of every month, (as of January, for in- 
stance,) through the whole period of years, were 
added separately, and an average drawn from them. 
The coolest and warmest point of the same day in 
each year of the period, were added separately, and 
an average of the greatest cold and greatest heat of 
that day was formed. From the averages of every 
day in the month, a general average was formed. 
The point from which the wind blew, was observed 
two or three times in every day. These observa- 
tions, in the month of January, for instance, through 
the whole period, amounted to three himdred and 
thirty-seven. At seventy-three of these, the wind 
was from the north; forty-seven from the north- 
east, etc. So that it will be easy to see in what pro- 

io6 Jefferson's Works 

portion each wind usually prevails in each month; 
or, taking the whole year, the total of observations 
through the whole period having been three thou- 
sand six hundred and ninety-eight, it will be ob- 
served that six hundred and eleven of them were 
from the north, five hundred and fifty -eight from 
the north-east, etc. 

Though by this table it appears we have on an 
average forty-seven inches of rain annually, which 
is considerably more than usually falls in Europe, 
yet from the information I have collected, I suppose 
we have a much greater proix)rtion of sunshine here 
than there. Perhaps it will be found, there are 
twice as many cloudy days in tlie middle parts of 
Europe, as in the United States of America. I men- 
tion the middle parts of Europe, because my infor- 
mation does not extend to its northern or southern 

In an extensive country, it will of course be ex- 
pected that the climate is not the same in all its parts. 
It is remarkable, that proceeding on the same parallel 
of latitude westwardly, the climate becomes colder 
in like manner as when you proceed northwardly. 
This continues to be the case till you attain the sum- 
mit of the Alleghany, which is the highest land 
between the ocean and the Mississippi. From 
thence, descending in the same latitude to the Mis- 
sissippi, the change reverses; and, if we may believe 
travellers, it becomes warmer there than it is in the 
same latitude on the sea-side. Their testimony is 

Notes on Virginia 


strengthened by the vegetables and animals which 
subsist and multiply there naturally, and do not on 
I the sea-coast. Thus Catalpas grow spontaneously 
on the Mississippi, as far as the latitude of 37°, and 
I reeds as far as 38°. Parroquets even winter on the 
Scioto, in the 39th degree of latitude. In the sum- 
mer of 1779, when the thermometer was at 90° at 
Monticello, and 96° at Williamsburg, it was no" at 
I Kaskaskia. Perhaps the mountain, which over- 
hangs this village on the north side, may, by its re- 
flection, have contributed somewhat to produce this 
heat. The difference of temperature of the air at 
the sea-coast, or on the Chesapeake bay, and at the 
Alleghany, has not been ascertained; but contem- 
porary observations, made at Williamsburg, or in 
its neighborhood, and at Monticello, which is on the 
most eastern ridge of the mountains, called the 
] South-West, where they are intersected by the Ri- 
vanna, have furnished a ratio by which that differ- 
[■ence may in some degree be conjectured. These 
f observations make the difference between Williams- 
I burg and the nearest mountains, at the position 
i before mentioned, to be on an average 6 J^° of Fahren- 
heit's thermometer. Some allowance, however, is 
I to be made for the difference of latitude between 
these two places, the latter being 38° 8' 17*, which 
t is 52' 22" north of the former. By contemporary 
I observations of between five and six weeks, the 
laver^ed and almost unvaried difference of the 
Ifceight of mercury in the barometer, at those two 


Jefferson's Works 

places, was .784 of an inch, the atmosphere at Monti- 
cello being so much the lightest, that is to say, about 
one-thirty-seventh of its whole weight. It should 
be observed, however, that the hill of Monticello is of 
five hundred feet perpendicular height above the 
river which washes its base. This position being 
nearly central between our northern and southern 
boundaries, and between the bay and Alleghany, 
may be considered as furnishing the best average of 
the temperature of our climate. Williamsburg is 
much too near the south-eastern comer to give a 
fair idea of our general temperature. 

But a more remarkable diflference is in the winds 
which prevail in the different parts of the country. 
The following table exhibits a comparative view of 
the winds prevailing at Williamsburg, and at Monti- 
cello. It is formed by reducing nine months' obser- 
vations at Monticello to four principal points, to wit, 
the north-east, south-east, south-west, and north- 
west ; these points being periiendicular to. or parallel 
with our coast, mountains, and rivers; and by reduc- 
ing in like manner, an equal number of observations, 
to wit, four hundred and twenty-one from the preced- 
ing table of winds at Williamsburg, taking them 
proportionably from every point: 

By this it may be seen that the south-west wind 
prevails equally at both places; that the north-east 

Notes on Virginia 


is, next to this, the principal wind towards the sea- 
coast, and the north-west is the predominant wind 
at the mountains. The difEerence between these 
two winds to sensation, and in fact, is very great. 
The north-east is loaded with vapor, insomuch, that 
the salt-makers have found that their crystals would 
not shoot while that blows; it brings a distressing 
chill, and is heavy and oppressive to the spirits. 
The north-west is dry, cooling, elastic, and animat- 
ing. The eastern and south-eastern breezes come 
on generally in the afternoon. They have advanced 
into the country very sensibly within the memory of 
people now living. They formerly did not pene- 
trate far above Williamsburg. They are now fre- 
quent at Richmond, and every now and then reach 
the motmtains. They deposit most of their moisture, 
however, before they get that far. As the lands 
become more cleared, it is probable they will extend 
still further westward. 

Going out into the open air, in the temperate, and 
warm months of the year, we often meet with bodies 
of warm air, which passing by us in two or three 
seconds, do not afford time to the most sensible ther- 
mometer to seize their temperature. Judging from 
my feelings only, I think they approach the ordinary 
heat of the human body. Some of them, perhaps, 
go a little beyond it. They are of about twenty to 
thirty feet diameter horizontally. Of their height 
^L we have no experience, but probably they are globu- 
^M lar volumes wafted or rolled along with the wind. 


Jefferson's Works 

But whence taken, where found, or how generated? 
They are not to be ascribed to volcanoes, because we 
have none. They do not happen in the winter when 
the farmers kindle large fires in clearing up their 
grounds. They are not confined to the spring sea- 
son, when we have fires which traverse whole coun- 
ties, consuming the leaves which have fallen from 
the trees. And they are too frequent and general 
to be ascribed to accidental fires. I am persuaded 
their cause must be sought for in the atmosphere 
itself, to aid us in which I know but of these con- 
stant circumstances: a dry air; a temperature as 
warm, at least, as that of the spring or autumn ; and 
a moderate current of wind. They are most fre- 
quent about sun-set; rare in the middle parts of the 
day; and I do not recollect having ever met with 
them in the morning. 

The variation in the weight of our atmosphere, as 
indicated by the barometer, is not equal to two inches 
of mercury. During twelve months' observation at 
Williamsburg, the extremes 29 and 30.86 inches, the 
difference being 1,86 of an inch ; and in nine months, 
during which the height of the mercury was noted at 
Monticello, the extremes were 28.48 and zg.69 inchi 
the variation being 1.21 of an inch. A gentleman] 
who has observed his barometer many years, assures 
me it has never varied two inches. Contemporary 
observations made at Monticello and Williamsburg, 
proved the variations in the weight of air to be si 
ultaneous and corresponding in these two places. 

Notes on Virginia 

Our changes from heat to cold, and cold to heat, 
j are very sudden and great. The mercury in Fah- 
' renheit's thermometer has been known to descend 
, from 92° to 47° in thirteen hours. 

It was taken for granted, that the preceding table 
I of average heat will not give a false idea on this sub- 
I ject, as it proposes to state only the ordinary heat 
I and cold of each month, and not those which are 
extraordinary. At Williamsburg, in August, 1766, 
the mercur>' in Fahrenheit's thermometer was at 
98°, corresponding with 29}^ of Reaumur. At the 
t same place in January 1780, it was 6°, correspond- 
f ing with 1 1 ^2 below zero of Reaumur, I believe' 
I these may be considered to be nearly the extremes 
' of heat and cold in that part of the country. The 
latter may most certainly, as that time York river, 
at Yorktown, was frozen over, so that people walked 
across it; a circumstance which proves it to have 
I "been colder than the winter of 1740-1741, usually 
l called the cold winter, when York river did not freeze 
over at that place. In the same season of 1 780, Chesa- 
peake bay was solid, from its head to the mouth of 
Potomac. At Annapolis, where it is 5 J^ miles over 
b between the nearest points of land, the ice was from 
l£ve to seven inches thick qmte across, so that 
■loaded carriages went over on it. Those, our ex- 
ftremes of heat and cold, of 6° and 98°. were indeed 

' At Paris, in 1753. the mercury in Reaumur's thermometer was at 
I jo}^ above zero, and in 1776.11 was at 16 below aero. The extremities 
Wi-ti beat and cold therefore at Paris, are greater than at Willi amsbui^, 
^whichisin the hottest part of Virginia. 

112 Jefferson's Works 

very distressing to us, and were thought to put th*S 
extent of the human constitution to considerable 1 
trial. Yet a Siberian would have considered themJ 
as scarcely a sensible variation. At Jenniseitz-l 
in that country, in latitude 58° 27', we are told thati" 
the cold in 1735 sunk the mercury by Fahrenheit 'a J 
scale to 126° below nothing; and the inhabitants! 
of the same countrj' use stove rooms two or three 1 
times a week, in which they stay two hours at al 
time, the atmosphere of which raises the mercury toj 
135° above nothing. Late experiments show thati 
the human body will exist in rooms heated to i40*| 
of Reaumur, equal to 347'' of Fahrenheit's, and 135**^ 
above boiling water. The hottest point of thtf 
twenty-four hours is about four o'clock, P. M., 
the dawn of day the coldest. 

The access of frost in autumn, and its recess the 
spring, do not seem to depend merely on the degree 
of cold; much less on the air's being at the freezing- 
point. White frosts are frequent when the thermom- 1 
eter is at 47°, have killed young plants of Indian 
com at 48°, and have been known at 54°. Black 
frost, and even ice, have been produced at 38^°, 
which is 6j4 degrees above the freezing point. That 
other circumstances must be combined with this cold 
to produce frost, is evident from this also, on the 
higher parts of mountains, where it is absolutely 
colder than in the plains on which they stand, frosts 
do not apjjear so early by a considerable space of time 
in autumn, and go off sooner in the spring, than in 

Notes on Virginia 113 

the plains. I have known frosts so severe as to kill 
the hickory trees roiind about Monticello, and yet 
not injure the tender fruit blossoms then in bloom 
on the top and higher parts of the motmtain; and 
in the course of forty years, during which it had been 
settled, there have been but two instances of a gen- 
eral loss of fruit on it; while in the circumjacent 
country, the fruit has escaped but twice in the last 
seven years. The plants of tobacco, which grow 
from the roots of those which have been cut oflE in the 
summer, are frequently green here at Christmas. 
This privilege against the frost is tmdoubtedly com- 
bined with the want of dew on the motmtains. That 
the dew is very rare on their higher parts, I may 
say with certainty, from twelve years' observations, 
having scarcely ever, during that time, seen an 
imequivocal proof of its existence on them at all 
during stunmer. Severe frosts in the depth of winter 
prove that the region of dews extends higher in that 
season than the tops of the mountains; but cer- 
tainly, in the summer season, the vapors, by the 
time they attain that height, are so attenuated as 
not to subside and form a dew when the stm retires. 

The weavil has not yet ascended the high motm- 

A more satisfactory estimate of our climate to 
some, may perhaps be formed, by noting the plants 
which grow here, subject, however, to be killed by 
otu: severest colds. These are the fig, pomegranate, 
artichoke, and European walnut. In mild winters, 

VOL. II — 8 

114 Jefferson's Works 

lettuce and endive require no shelter; but, gener- 
ally, they need a slight covering. I do not know that 
the want of long moss, reed, myrtle, swamp laurel, 
holly, and cypress, in the upper country proceeds 
from a greater degree of cold, nor that they were 
ever killed with any degree of cold, nor that they 
were ever killed with any degree of cold in the lower 
country. The aloe lived in Williamsburg, in the 
open air, through the severe winter of 1779, 1780. 

A change in our climate, however, is taking place 
very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become 
much more moderate within the memorj- even of 
the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less 
deep. They do not often lie, below the mountains, 
more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely a 
week. They are remembered to have been formerly 
frequent, deep, and of long continuance. The elderly 
inform me, the earth used to be covered with snow 
about three months in every year. The rivers, 
which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course 
of the winter, scarcely ever do so now. This change 
has produced an unfortunate fluctuation between 
heat and cold, in the spring of the year, which is 
very fatal to fruits. From the year 1741 to 1769, 
an interval of twenty-eight years, there was no 
instance of fruit killed by the frost in the neighbor- 
hood of Monticello. An intense cold, produced by 
constant snows, kept the buds locked up till the sun 
could obtain, in the spring of the year, so fixed an 
ascendency as to dissolve those snows, and protect 

Notes on Virginia ^^5 

the buds, during their development, from every 
danger of returning cold. The accumulated snows 
of the winter remaining to be dissolved all together 
in the spring, produced those overflowings of our 
rivers, so frequent then, and so rare now. 

Having had occasion to mention the particular 
situation of Monticello for other purposes, I will 
just take notice that its elevation affords an oppor- 
tunity of seeing a phenomenon which is rare at land, 
though frequent at sea. The seamen call it loom- 
ing. Philosophy is as yet in the rear of the seamen, 
for so far from having accounted for it, she has not 
given it a name. Its principal effect is to make 
distant objects appear larger, in opposition to the 
general law of vision, by which they are diminished. 
I knew an instance, at Yorktown, from whence the 
water prospect eastwardly is without termination, 
wherein a canoe with three men, at a great distance 
was taken for a ship with its three masts. I am 
little acquainted with the phenomenon as it shows 
itself at sea ; but at Monticello it is familiar. There 
IS a solitary mountain about forty miles off in the 
South, whose natural shape, as presented to view 
there, is a regular cone ; but by the effect of looming, 


it sometimes subsides almost totally in the horizon ; 
sometimes it rises more acute and more elevated; 
sometimes it is hemispherical; and sometimes its 
sides are perpendicular, its top flat, and as broad as 
Its base. In short, it assumes at times the most 
whimsical shapes, and all these perhaps successively 

"6 Jefferson's Works 

in the same morning. The blue ridge of mountains 
comes into view, in the north-east, at about one 
htmdred miles distance, and approaching in a direct 
line, passes by within twenty miles, and goes off to 
the south-west. This phenomenon begins to show 
itself on these motmtains, at about fifty miles dis- 
tance, and continues beyond that as far as they are 
seen. I remark no particular state, either in the 
weight, moisture, or heat of the atmosphere, neces- 
sary to produce this. The only constant circum- 
stances are its appearance in the morning only, and 
on objects at least forty or fifty miles distant. In this 
latter circiunstance, if not in both, it differs from 
the looming on the water. Refraction will not 
accotmt for the metamorphosis. That only changes 
the proportions of length and breadth, base and 
altitude, preserving the general outlines. Thus it 
may make a circle appear elliptical, raise or depress 
a cone, but by none of its laws, as yet developed, 
will it make a circle appear a square, or a cone 
a sphere. 


The number of its inhabitants f 

The following table shows the number of persons 
imported for the establishment of our colony in its 
infant state, and the census of inhabitants at differ- 
ent periods, extracted from our historians and public 
records, as particularly as I have had opporttmities 

Notes on Virginia 



Settlers Imported. 

Census of Inhabitants. 

Census of Tythes. 



• • 


• • 



• ••••••• 


• • 




• • 


• ■ 




• ■ 



3 shiploads. 

• • 








• • 


• • 








• ■ 













a a, 000 










and leisure to examine them. Successive lines in 
the same year show successive periods of time in that 
year. I have stated the census in two different 
colunms, the whole inhabitants having been some- 
times numbered, and sometimes the tythes only. 
This term, with us, includes the free males above 
sixteen years of age, and slaves above that age of 
both sexes. A further examination of our records 
would render this history of otu: population much 
more satisfactory and perfect, by ftimishing a greater 
number of intermediate terms. These, however, 


Jefferson's Works 

which are here stated will enable us to calculate, with 
a considerable degree of precision, the rate at which 
we have increased. During the infancy of the col- 
on)', while numbers were small, wars, importations, 
and other accidental circumstances render the pro- 
gression fluctuating and irregular. By the year 
1654, however, it becomes tolerably uniform, im- 
portations having in a great measure ceased from 
the dissolution of the company, and the inhabitants 
become too nimierous to be sensibly affected by 
Indian wars. Beginning at that period, therefore, 
we find that from thence to the year 1772, our tythes 
had increased from 7,209 to 153.000. The whole 
term being of one hundred and eighteen years, yields 
a duplication once in every twenty-seven and a 
quarter years. The intermediate enumerations 
taken in 1700, 1748, and 1759, furnish proofs of the 
uniformity of this progression. Should this rate of 
increase continue, we shall have between six and 
seven millions of inhabitants within ninety-five 
years. If we suppose our country to be bounded, 
at some future day, by the meridian of the mouth 
of the Great Kanhaway, (within which it has been 
before conjectured, are 64,461 square miles) there 
will then be one hundred inhabitants for every 
square mile, which is nearly the state of population 
in the British Islands. 

Here I will beg leave to propose a doubt. The 
present desire of America is to produce rapid popu- 
lation by as great imix)rtations of foreigners as pos- 


Notes on Virginia 


sible. But is this founded in good policy? The 
advantage proposed is the multiplication of numbers. 
Now let us suppose (for example only) that, in this 
state, we could double our numbers in one year by 
the importation of foreigners; and this is a greater 
accession than the most sanguine advocate for emi- 
gration has a right to expect, Then I say, begin- 
ning with a double stock, we shall attain any given 
degree of population only twenty-seven years, and 
three months sooner than if we proceed on our single 
stock. If we propose four millions and a half as a 
competent poptdation for this State, we should be 
fifty-four and a half years attaining it, could we at 
once double our numbers; and eighty-one and three 
quarter years, if we rely on natural propagation, as 
may be seen by the following tablet: 

our prt«nl .lock. 

. dimbl. .lock. 






■ ,.;o.4s6 






In the first column are stated periods of twenty- 
seven and a quarter years; in the second are our 
numbers at each period, as they will be if we proceed 
on our actual stock ; and in the third are what they 
would be, at the same periods, were we to set out 
from the double of our present stock. I have taken 
the term of four million and a half of inhabitants for 
example's sake only. Yet I am persuaded it is a 
greater number than the country spoken of, consid- 

Jefferson's Works 

ering how much inarable land it contains, can clothe 
and feed without a material change in the quality of 
their diet. But are there no inconveniences to be 
thrown into the scale against the advantage expected 
from a multiplication of numbers by the importation 
of foreigners ? It is for the happiness of those united 
in society to harmonize as much as possible in mat- 
ters which they must of necessity transact together. 
Civil government being the sole object of forming 
societies, its administration mtist be conducted by 
common consent. Every species of government 
has its specific principles. Ours perhaps are more 
peculiar than those of any other in the universe. It 
is a composition of the freest principles of the Eng- 
lish constitution, with others derived from natural 
right and natural reason. To these nothing can be 
more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarch- 
ies. Yet from such we are to expect the greatest 
number of emigrants. They will bring with them 
the principles of the governments they leave, im- 
bibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them 
off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licen- 
tiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to 
another. It would be a miracle were they to stop 
precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These 
principles, with their language, they will transmit 
to their children. In proportion to their numbers, 
they will share with us the legislation. They will 
infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its directions, 
and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted 


Notes on Virginia 121 

mass. I may appeal to experience, during the pres- 
ent contest, for a verification of these conjectures. 
But, if they be not certain in event, are they not 
possible, are they not probable? Is it not safer to 
wait with patience twenty-seven years and three 
months longer, for the attainment of any degree of 
population desired or expected? May not our gov- 
ernment be more homogeneous, more peaceable, 
more durable? Suppose twenty millions of repub- 
lican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, 
what would be the condition of that kingdom? If 
it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, 
we may believe that the addition of half a million 
of foreigners to our present ntunbers would produce 
a similar effect here. If they come of themselves 
they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship ; but 
doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraor- 
dinary encouragements. I mean not that these 
doubts should be extended to the importation of 
useful artificers. The policy of that measure de- 
pends on very different considerations. Spare no 
expense in obtaining them. They will after a while 
go to the plough and the hoe; but, in the mean time, 
they will teach us something we do not know. It is 
not so in agriculture. The indifferent state of that 
among us does not proceed from a want of knowl- 
edge merely; it is from our having such quantities 
of land to waste as we please. In Europe the object 
is to make the most of their land, labor being abund- 
ant; here it is to make the most of our labor, land 
being abundant. 

Jefferson's Works 

It will be projjer to explain how the numbers for 
the year 1782 have been obtained ; as it was not from 
a perfect census of the inhabitants. It will at the 
same time develope the proportion between the free 
inhabitants and slaves. The following return of 
taxable articles for that year was given in: h 

53,289 free males above twenty-one years of age. B 
211,698 slaves of all ages and sexes. 

23,76c not distinguished in the returns, but said to 
be tytheable slaves. 
195,439 horses. ^ 

609,734 cattle. ^1 

5,126 wheels of riding-carriages. 

191 taverns. 
There were no returns from the eight counties 
of Lincoln, Jefferson, Fayette. Monongalia, Yoho- 
gania, Ohio, Northampton, and York. To find the 
number of slaves which should have been returned 
instead of the 23,766 tytheables, we must mention 
that some observations on a former census had 
given reason to believe that the numbers above and 
below sixteen years of age were equal. The double 
of this number, therefore, to wit, 47,532 must be 
added to 311,698, which will give us 259,230 slaves 
of all ages and sexes. To find the number of free 
inhabitants we must repeat the observation that 
those above and below sixteen are nearly equal. 
But as the number 53,289 omits the males below six- 
teen and twenty-one we must supply them from con- 
jecture. On a former experiment it had appeared 


Notes on Virginia "3 

that about one-third of our militia, that is, of the 
males between sixteen and fifty, were immarried. 
Knowing how early marriage takes place here, we 
shall not be far wrong in supposing that the un- 
married part of our militia are those between sixteen 
and twenty-one. If there be yoimg men who do 
not marry till after twenty-one, there are many who 
marry before that age. But as men above fifty 
were not included in the militia, we will suppose the 
immarried, or those between sixteen and twenty- 
one, to be one-fourth of the whole number above 
sixteen, then we have the following calculation : 

53,289 free males above twenty-one years of 

17,763 free males between sixteen and twenty- 

17,052 free males under sixteen. 
142,104 free males of all ages. 

284,208 free inhabitants of all ages. 
259,230 slaves of all ages. 

543*438 inhabitants, exclusive of the eight coun- 
ties from which were no returns. In these eight 
counties in the years 1779 and 1780, were 3,161 
militia. Say then, 

3,161 free males above the age of sixteen. 

3,161 free males under sixteen. 

6,322 free females. 

1 2,644 free inhabitants in these eight counties. To 
find the ntunber of slaves, say, as 284,208 to 259,- 

124 Jefferson's Works 

230, so is 12,644 to 11,532. Adding the third of 
these numbers to the first, and the fourth to the 
second, we have, 

296,852 free inhabitants. 

270,762 slaves. 

567,614 inhabitants of every age, sex and condi- 
tion. But 296,852, the number of free inhabitants, 
are to 270,762, the number of slaves, nearly as 11 
to 10. Under the mild treatment our slaves expe- 
rience, and their wholesome, though coarse food, 
this blot in our coimtry increases as fast, or faster 
than the whites. During the regal government we 
had at one time obtained a law which imposed such 
a duty on the importation of slaves as amoimted 
nearly to a prohibition, when one inconsiderate 
assembly, placed under a peculiarity of circum- 
stance, repealed the law. This repeal met a joyful 
sanction from the then reigning sovereign, and no de- 
vices, no expedients, which could ever be attempted 
by subsequent assemblies, and they seldom met 
without attempting them, could succeed in getting 
the royal assent to a renewal of the duty. In the 
very first session held under the repubUcan gov- 
ernment, the assembly passed a law for the perpet- 
ual prohibition of the importation of slaves. This 
will in some measure stop the increase of this great 
political and moral evil, while the minds of our 
citizens may be ripening for a complete emancipa- 
tion of human nature. 

rf ..■♦.. •/ * . 

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imije inscriptions 

Photg-cngpaving of I|iscriptions that wepe written by Jefferson on the Fly 
■ ' '■ ^'* fek^^/ dfT«W ^f«e^tAti(JtT' C<J*T>5" «f th«» French Edition 
/ • of t)ts "Notes on Virginia" 

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Notes on Virginia 



Th£ number and condition of the Militia and Regular 
Troops, and their Pay ? 
The following is a state of the militia, taken 
from returns of 1780 and 1781, except in those coun- 
ties marked with an asterisk, the rettuns from which 
are somewhat older. 







































yooonzalia .. 

Harapdiire ,-. 





Rockbridge ... 
Boutetonrt . . . 


Culpe|>per .... 
Spotsylvania .. 




Bedford ....'.' 
Henry ...... 

Halitajt .-..'. 
Prince Edward 

Powhatan . . . 


Luoenburg . . 
Meckleobutg - 



'4 Bo 




Southampton . . . 
Isle o{ White .... 


Henrico ....'.'.'.'- 


New Kent 

Charlei aty 


Williamsbuish . . 


EJiubeth City . . 


King and Queen. 


Prince WiUiam , . 


King George .... 


Westmoreland .. 
fJo rth umberUnd . 

Whole M 

Utia of the Slate.. 



Jefferson's Works 

Every able-bodied freeman, between the ag^ of 
sixteen and fifty, is enrolled in the militia. Those 
of ever)' coimty are formed into companies, and 
these again into one or more battalions, according 
to the numbers in the county. They are com- 
manded by colonels, and other subordinate offi- 
cers, as in the regular service. In every county is 
a county-lieutenant, who commands the whole 
militia of his county, but ranks only as a colonel in 
the field. We have no general officers always ex- 
isting. These are appointed occasionally, when 
an invasion or insurrection happens, and their com- 
mission determines with the occasion. The Gov- 
ernor is head of the military, as well as civil powi 
The law requires every militia-man to provide hi 
self with the arms usual in the regular service. But 
this injunction was always indifferently complied 
with, and the arms they had, have been so frequently 
called for to arm the regulars, that in the lower 
parts of the country they are entirely disarmed. In 
the middle country a fourth or fifth part of them 
may have such firelocks as tliey had provided to 
destroy the noxious animals which infest their 
farms; and on the western side of the Blue Ridge 
they are generally armed with rifles. The pay of 
our militia, as well as of our regulars, is that of the 
continental regulars. The condition of our regu- 
lars, of whom we have none but continentals, and 
part of a battalion of state troops, is so constantl; 
on the change, that a state of it at this day 

50 constantljr^^ 
ay would no^^l 

Notes on Virginia 127 

be its state a month hence. It is much the same 
with the condition of the other continental troops, 
which is well enough known. 


The Marine? 

Before the present invasion of this State by the 
British, imder the command of General Phillips, 
we had three vessels of sixteen guns, one of fourteen, 
five small gallies, and two or three armed boats. 
They were generally so badly manned as seldom to 
be in a condition for service. Since the perfect 
possession of our rivers assumed by the enemy, I 
believe we are left with a single armed boat only. 


A description of the Indians established in that State ? 

When the first effectual settlement of our colony 
was made, which was in 1607, the country from the 
seacoast to the mountains, and from the Potomac 
to the most southern waters of James* river, was 
occupied by upwards of forty different tribes of 
Indians. Of these the Powhatans, the MannahoacSy 
and Monacans, were the most powerful. Those 
between the seacoast and falls of the rivers, were 
in amity with one another, and attached to the 

128 Jefferson's Works 

Powhatans as their link of union. Those between 
the falls of the rivers and the mountains, were 
divided into two confederacies; the tribes inhabit- 
ing the head waters of Potomac and Rappahannock, 
being attached to the Mannahoacs; and those on 
the upper parts of James' river to the Monacans. 
But the Monacans and their friends were in amity 
with the Mannahoacs and their friends, and waged 
joint ai;d perpetual war against the Powhatans. We 
are told that the Powhatans, Mannahoacs, and 
Monacans, spoke languages so radically different, 
that interpreters were necessary when they trans- 
acted business. Hence we may conjecture, that 
this was not the case between all the tribes, and, 
probably, that each spoke the language of the na- 
tion to which it was attached; which we know to 
have been the case in many particular instances. 
Very possibly there may have been anciently three 
different stocks, each of which multiplying in a 
long course of time, had separated into so many 
little societies. This practice results from the circum- 
stance of their having never submitted themselves 
to any laws, any coercive power, any shadow of 
government. Their only controls are their man- 
ners, and that moral sense of right and wrong, 
which, like the sense of tasting and feeling in every 
man, makes a part of his nature. An offence against 
these is pimished by contempt, by exclusion from 
society, or, where the case is serious, as that of 
jsqurder, by the individuals whom it concerns. Im- 

Notes on Virginia i^9 

perfect as this species of coercion may seem, crimes 
are very rare among them; insomuch that were it 
made a question, whether no law, as among the 
savage Americans, or too much law, as among the 
civilized Europeans, submits man to the greatest 
evil, one who has seen both conditions of existence 
would pronounce it to be the last; and that the 
sheep are happier of themselves, than under care 
of the wolves. It will be said, the great societies 
cannot exist without government. The savages, 
therefore, break them into small ones. 

The territories of the Powhatan confederacy, 
south of the Potomac, comprehended about eight 
thousand square miles, thirty tribes, and two thou- 
sand four hundred warriors. Captain Smith tells 
us, that within sixty miles of Jamestown were five 
thousand people, of whom one thousand five him- 
dred were warriors. From this we find the propor- 
tion of their warriors to their whole inhabitants, was 
as three to ten. The Powhatan confederacy, then, 
would consist of about eight thousand inhabitants, 
which was one for every square mile; being about 
the twentieth part of oiu* present population in the 
same territory, and the hundredth of that of the 
British islands. 

Besides these were the Nottoways, living on Notto- 
way river, the Meherrins and Tuteloes on Meherrin 
river, who were connected with the Indians of Caro- 
lina, probably with the Chowanocs. 

VOL. II— 9 




t S« 8 S88 8S S S S| « 

9 g 8 i S| 8 8SS38§«88g«8g « «888 !|t S S 

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Notes on Virginia 131 

The preceding table contains a state of these sev- 
eral tribes, according to their confederacies and 
geographical situation, with their numbers when 
we first became acquainted with them, where these 
numbers are known. The numbers of some of 
them are again stated as they were in the year 1669, 
when an attempt was made by assembly to enum- 
erate them. Probably the enumeration is imper- 
fect, and in some measure conjectural, and that a 
further search into the records would furnish many 
more particulars. What would be the melancholy 
sequel of their history, may, however, be argued 
from the census of 1669; by which we discover that- 
the tribes therein enumerated were, in the space of 
sixty-two years, reduced to about one-third of their 
former numbers. Spirituous liquors, the small- 
pox, war, and an abridgement of territory to a peo- 
ple who lived principally on the spontaneous pro- 
ductions of nature, had committed terrible havoc 
among them, which generation, imder the obstacles 
opposed to it among them, was not likely to make 
good. That the lands of this country were taken 
from them by conquest, is not so general a truth as 
is supposed. I find in our historians and records, 
repeated proofs of purchase, which cover a consid- 
erable part of the lower country; and many more 
would doubtless be found on further search. The 
upper country, we know, has been acquired— alto- 
gether acquired by purchases made in the most un- 
exceptionable form. 

132 Jefferson's Works 

Westward of all these tribes, beyond the moun- 
tains, and extending to the great lakes, were the 
Alaffawomees, a most powerful confederacy, who 
harassed unremittingly the Powhatans and Manna- 
hoacs. These were probably the ancestors of tribes 
known at present by the name of the Six Motions. 

Very little can now be discovered of the sub! 
quent history of these tribes severally. The Chick- 
ahominies removed about the year 1661, to Matta- 
pony river. Their chief, with one from each of the 
Pamunkies and Mattaponies, attended the treaty 
of Albany in 16S5. This seems to have been the 
last chapter in their history. They retained, how- 
ever, their separate name so late as 1705, and were 
at length blended with the Pamunkies and Matta- 
ponies, and exist at present only under their names. 
There remain of the Alattaponies three or four men 
only, and have more negro than Indian blood in 
them. They have lost their language, have reduced 
themselves, by voluntary sales, to about fifty acres 
of land, which lie on the river of their own name, 
and have from time to time, been joining the 
Pamunkies, from whom they are distant but ten 
miles. The Pamunkies are reduced to about ten 
or twelve men, tolerably pure from mixture with 
other colors. The older ones among them preser\'e 
their language in a small degree, which are the last 
vestiges on earth, as far as we know, of the Pow- 
hatan language. They have about three hundred 
acres of very fertile land, on Pamunkey river, so 


Notes on Virginia 133 

encompassed by water that a gate shuts in the whole. 
Of the NottowaySy not a male is left. A few women 
constitute the remains of that tribe. They are 
seated on Nottoway river, in Southampton countrj', 
on very fertile lands. At a ver}'' early period, cer- 
tain lands were marked out and appropriated to these 
tribes, and were kept from encroachment by the 
authority of the laws. They have usually had 
trustees appointed, whose duty was to watch over 
their interests, and guard them from insult and injury. 
The Monacans and their friends, better known 
latterly by the name of Tuscaroras, were probably 
connected with the Massawomecs, or Five Nations. 
For though we are told* their languages were so 
different that the intervention of interpreters was 
necessary between them, yet do we also learn' that 
the Erigas, a nation formerly inhabiting on the 
Ohio, were of the same original stock with the Five 
Nations, and that they partook also of the Tusca- 
rora language. Their dialects might, by long sepa- 
ration, have become so unlike as to be unintelligible 
to one another. We know that in 1712, the Five 
Nations received the Tuscaroras into their confed- 
eracy, and made them the Sixth Nation. They 
received the Meherrins and Tuteloes also into their 
protection; and it is most probable, that the re- 
mains of many other of the tribes, of whom we 
find no particular account, retired westwardly in 

• Smith. 

134 Jefferson's Works 

like manner, and were incorporated with one or 
the other of the western tribes. See Apj^endix (5). 
I know of no such thing existing as an Indian 
monument; for I would not honor with that name 
arrow points, stone hatchets, stone pipes, and half 
shapen images. Of labor on the large scale, I think 
there is no remain as respectable as would be a 
common ditch for the draining of lands; unless 
indeed it would be the barrows, of which many are 
to be found all over this country. These are of 
different sizes, some of them constructed of earth, 
and some of loose stones. That they were reposi- 
tories of the dead, has been obvious to all; but on 
what particular occasion constructed, was a matter 
of doubt. Some have thought they covered the 
bones of those who have fallen in battles fought on 
the spot of interment. Some ascribed them to the 
custom, said to prevail among the Indians, of col- 
lecting, at certain periods, the bones of all their 
dead, wheresoever deposited at the time of death. 
Others again supposed them the general sepulchres 
for towns, conjectured to have been on or near 
these grounds; and this opinion was supported by 
the quality of the lands in which they are found, 
(those constructed of earth being generally in the 
softest and most fertile meadow-grounds on river 
sides,) and by a tradition, said to be handed down 
from the aboriginal Indians, that, when they settled 
in a town, the first person who died was placed 
erect, and earth put about him, so as to cover and 

Notes on Virginia ^35 

support him; that when another died, a narrow 
passage was dug to the first, the second reclined 
against him, and the cover of earth replaced, and 
so on. There being one of these in my neighbor- 
hood, I wished to satisfy myself whether any, and 
which of these opinions were just. For this piupose 
I determined to open and examine it thoroughly. 
It was situated on the low grotmds of the Rivanna, 
about two miles above its principal fork, and oppo- 
site to some hills, on which had been an Indian 
town. It was of a spheroidical form, of about 
forty feet diameter at the base, and had been of 
about twelve feet altitude, though now reduced by 
the plough to seven and a half, having been tmder 
cultivation about a dozen years. Before this it was 
covered with trees of twelve inches diameter, and 
round the base was an excavation of five feet depth 
and width, from whence the earth had been taken 
of which the hillock was formed. I first dug super- 
ficially in several parts of it, and came to collec- 
tions of human bones, at different depths, from six 
inches to three feet below the surface. These were 
lying in the utmost confusion, some vertical, some 
oblique, some horizontal, and directed to every 
point of the compass, entangled and held together 
in clusters by the earth. Bones of the most distant 
parts were found together, as, for instance, the 
small bones of the foot in the hollow of a scull; 
many sculls would sometimes be in contact, lying 
on the face, on the side, on the back, top or bottom. 

13* Jefferson's Works 

so as, on the whole, to give the idea of bones emptied 
promiscuously from a bag or a basket, and covered 
over with earth, without any attention to their 
order. The bones of which the greatest numbers 
remained, were sculls, jaw-bones, teeth, the bones 
of the arms, thighs, legs, feet and hands. A few 
ribs remained, some vertebra: of the neck and spine, 
without their processes, and one instance only of 
the bone' which serves as a base to the vertebral 
column. The sculls were so tender, that they gen- 
erally fell to pieces on being touched. The other 
bones were stronger. There were some teeth which 
were judged to be smaller than those of an adult ; a 
scull, which on a slight view, appeared to be that of 
an infant, but it fell to pieces on being taken out, 
so as to prevent satisfactory examination; a rib, 
and a fragment of the under-jaw of a person about 
half gi"own; another rib of an infant; and a part 
of the jaw of a child, which had not cut its teeth. 
This last furnishing the most decisive proof of the 
burial of children here, I was particular in my atten- 
tion to it. It was part of the right half of the under- 
jaw. The processes, by which it was attenuated to 
the temporal bones, were entire, and the bone itself 
firm to where it had been broken off, which, as 
nearly as I could judge, was about the place of the 
eye-tooth. Its upper edge, wherein would have 
been the sockets of the teeth, was perfectly smooth. 
Measuring it with that of an adult, by placing their 

' The OS sacrum. 

Notes on Virginia 137 

hinder processes together, its broken end extended 
to the penultimate grinder of the adult. This bone 
was white, all the others of a sand color. The bones 
of infants being soft, they probably decay sooner, 
which might be the cause so few were found here. 
I proceeded then to make a perpendicular cut 
through the body of the barrow, that I might exam- 
ine its internal structure. This passed about three 
feet from its centre, was opened to the former surface 
of the earth, and was wide enough for a man to walk 
through and examine its sides. At the bottom, 
that is, on the level of the circumjacent plain, ]. 
found bones; above these a few stones, brought 
from a cliff a quarter of a mile off, and from the river 
one-eighth of a mile oft ; then a large interval of earth, 
then a stratum of bones, and so on. At one end of 
the section were four strata of bones plainly dis- 
tinguishable; at the other, three; the strata in one 
part not ranging with those in another. The bones 
nearest the surface were least decayed. No holes 
were discovered in any of them, as if made with 
bullets, arrows, or other weapons. I conjectured 
that in this barrow might have been a thousand 
skeletons. Every one will readily seize the circum- 
stances above related, which militate against the 
opinion, that it covered the bones only of persons 
fallen in battle; and against the tradition also, 
which would make it the common sepulchre of a 
town, in which the bodies were placed upright, and 
touching each other. Appearances certainly indi- 


Jefferson's Works 


cate that it has derived both origin and growth 
from the accustomary collection of bones, and depo- 
sition of them together; that the first collection 
had been deposited on the common surface of the 
earth, a few stones put over it, and then a covering 
of earth, that the second had been laid on this, had 
covered more or less of it in proportion to the num- 
ber of bones, and was then also covered with earth ; 
and so on. The following are the particular circum- 
stances which give it this aspect, i. The number 
of bones. 2. Their confused position. 3. Their 
being in different strata. 4. The strata in one part 
having no correspondence with those in another. 
5. The different states of decay in these strata, 
which seem to indicate a difference in the time of 
inhumation. 6. The existence of infant bones 
among them. 

But on whatever occasion they may have been 
made, they are of considerable notoriety among the 
Indians; for a party passing, about thirty years 
ago, through the part of the country where this 
barrow is. went through the woods directly to it, 
\vithout any instructions or inquiry', and having 
staid about it for some time, with expressions which 
were construed to be those of sorrow, they returned 
to the high road, which they had left about half a 
dozen miles to pay this visit, and pursued their 
journey. There is another barrow much resembling 
this, in the low grounds of the south branch of Shen- 
andoah, where it is crossed by the road leading 

Notes on Virginia 139 

from the Rockfish gap to Staunton. Both of these 
have, within these dozen years, been cleared of 
their trees and put under cultivation, are much 
reduced in their height, and spread in width, by 
the plough, and will probably disappear in time. 
There is another on a hill in the Blue Ridge of moun- 
tains, a few miles north of Wood's gap, which is 
made up of small stones thrown together. This 
has been opened and found to contain human bones, 
as the others do. There are also many others in 
other parts of the country. 

Great question has arisen from whence came those 
aboriginals of America ? Discoveries, long ago made, 
were sufl&cient to show that the passage from Europe 
to America was always practicable, even to the 
imperfect navigation of ancient times. In going 
from Norway to Iceland, from Iceland to Green- 
land, from Greenland to Labrador, the first traject 
is the widest; and this having been practised from 
the earliest times of which we have any accotmt of 
that part of the earth, it is not difficult to suppose 
that the subsequent trajects may have been some- 
times passed. Again, the late discoveries of Captain 
Cook, coasting from Kamschatka to California, have 
proved that if the two continents of Asia and Amer- 
ica be separated at all, it is only by a narrow strait. 
So that from this side also, inhabitants may have 
passed into America; and the resemblance between 
the Indians of America and the eastern inhabitants 
of Asia, wotild induce us to conjecture, that the 

U© Jefferson's Works 

former are the descendants of the latter, or the latter 
of the former; excepting indeed the Esquimaux, 
who, from the same circumstance of resemblance, 
and from identity of language, must be derived 
from the Greenlanders, and these probably from 
some of the northern parts of the old continent. A 
knowledge of their several languages would be the 
most certain evidence of their derivation which 
could be produced. In fact, it is the best proof of 
the affinity of nations which ever can be referred to. 
How many ages have elapsed since the English, the 
Dutch, the Germans, the Swiss, the Norwegians, 
Danes and Swedes have separated from their com- 
mon stock? Yet how many more must elapse 
before the proofs of their common origin, which 
exist in their several languages, will disappear? It 
is to be lamented then, very much to be lamented, 
that we have suffered so many of the Indian tribes 
already to extinguish, without our having previously 
collected and deposited in the records of literature, 
the general rudiments at least of the languages they 
spoke. Were vocabularies formed of all the lan- 
guages spoken in North and South America, pre- 
serving their appellations of the most common 
objects in nature, of those which must be present to 
every nation barbarous or civilized, with the inflec- 
tions of their nouns and verbs, their principles of 
regimen and concord, and these deposited in all the 
public libraries, it would furnish opportunities to 
those skilled in the languages of the old world to 

Notes on Virginia 141 

compare them with these, now, or at any future 
time, and hence to construct the best evidence of 
the derivation of this part of the htunan race. 

But imperfect as is our knowledge of the tongues 
spoken in America, it suffices to discover the follow- 
ing remarkable fact: Arranging them under the 
radical ones to which they may be palpably traced, 
and doing the same by those of the red men of Asia, 
there will be fotmd probably twenty in America, 
for one in Asia, of those radical languages, so called 
l)ecause if they were ever the same they have lost 
all resemblance to one another. A separation into 
dialects may be the work of a few ages only, but for 
two dialects to recede from one another till they 
have lost all vestiges of their common origin, must 
require an immense course of time; perhaps not 
less than many people give to the age of the earth. 
A greater number of those radical changes of Ian* 
guage having taken place among the red men of 
America, proves them of greater antiquity than those 
of Asia. 

I will now proceed to state the nations and numbers 
of the Aborigines which still exist in a respectable 
and independent form. And as their undefined bound- 
aries would render it difficult to specify those only 
Vrhich may be within any certain limits, and it may 
not be unacceptable to present a more general view 
of them, I will reduce within the form of a catalogue 
all those within, and circumjacent to, the United 
States, whose names and numbers have come to my 

142 Jefferson's Works 

notice. These are taken from four different lists, 
the first of which was given in the year 1759 to Gen- 
eral Stanwix by George Croghan, deputy agent for 
Indian affairs under Sir William Johnson ; the second 
was drawn up by a French trader of considerable 
note, resident among the Indians many years, and 
annexed to Colonel Bouquet's printed accotmt of his 
expedition in 1764. The third was made out by 
Captain Hutchins, who visited most of the tribes, 
by order, for the piupose of learning their numbers, 
in 1768; and the fourth by John Dodge, an Indian 
trader, in 1779, except the numbers marked*— which 
are from other information. 

Notes on Virginia 



















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a . 



M f) M M M 


't9)«)s pa^fufi ai{) }o pJVM^sa))/^ puv pj«Mq)iOf«i 

Jefferson's Works 


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run »m JO siimii am uimiM 

Notes on Virginia 


I 1 


■"ililasttll-sit'^ili-s »■} Is 


« il^alJll 

pill I 


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-Btns pMiun am jo t^imn ai^t uiqiTju 

146 Jefferson's Works 




From the mouth of Ohio to the 

mouth of Wabash. 
On the Mississippi below the Shak- 



The following tribes are also mentioned: 

Lezar 400 "S 

Webings 200 "S 

Ousasoys. . . ) f On White Creek, a branch of the 

Grand Tuc. j 1 Mississippi. 

Linways 1,000 On the Mississippi. 

Les Puans 700 Near Puans Bay. 

Folle Avoine 350 Near Puans Bay. 

Ouanakina 300 

Chiakanessou 350 

Machecous 800 

Souikilas 200 

Conjectured to be tribes of the 

Minneamis 2,000 






North-west of Lake Michigan, to 
the heads of Mississippi, and up 
to Lake Suj>erior. 

On and near the Wabash toward 
the Illinois. 

But apprehending these might be different appel- 
lations for some of the tribes already enumerated, 
I have not inserted them in the table, but state them 
separately as worthy of further inquiry. The varia- 
tions observable in numbering the same tribe may 
sometimes be ascribed to imperfect information, 
and sometimes to a greater or less comprehension of 
settlements under the same name. See Appendix (7). 


A notice of the counties, cities, townships, and villages f 

The cotmties have been enumerated under Query 
IX. They are seventy-four in number, of very 

Notes on Virginia ^47 

unequal size and population. Of these thirty-five 
are on the tide waters, or in that parallel; twenty- 
three are in the midlands, between the tide waters 
and Blue Ridge of mountains; eight between the 
Blue Ridge and Alleghany; and eight westward of 
the Alleghany. 

The State, by another division, is formed into 
parishes, many of which are commensurate with the 
counties; but sometimes a cotmty comprehends 
more than one parish, and sometimes a parish more 
than one cotmty. This division had relation to the 
religion of the State, a portion of the Anglican 
church, with a fixed salary, having been heretofore 
established in each parish. The care of the poor 
was another object of the parochial division. 

We have no townships. Our cotmtry being much 
intersected with navigable waters, and trade brought 
generally to our doors, instead of our being obliged 
tx) go in quest of it, has probably been one of the 
causes why we have no towns of any consequence. 
Williamsburg, which, till the year 1780, was the 
seat of our government, never contained above 
1,800 inhabitants; and Norfolk, the most popu- 
lous town we ever had, contained but 6,000. Our 
towns, but more properly our villages and hamlets, 
are as follows : 

On James' River and its waters, Norfolk, Ports- 
mouth, Hampton, Suifolk, Smithfield» Williams- 
burg, Petersburg, Richmond, the seat of our gov- 
tttiment, Manchester, Charlottesville, New London. 

148 Jefferson's Works 

On York River and its waters, York, Newcastle, 

On Rappahannock, Urbanna, Port-Royal, Fred- 
ericksburg, Falmouth. 

On Polmnac and its waters, Dumfries, ColchesteTjj 
Alexandria, Winchester, Staunton. fl 

On Ohio, Louisville. I 

There are other places at which, like some of the 
foregoing, the laws have said there shall be towns; 
but nature has said there shall not, and they remain 
unworthy of enumeration. Norfolk will probably 
be the emporium for all the trade of the Chesapeake 
bay and its waters; and a canal of eight or ten miles 
will bring to it all that of Albemarle sound and its 
waters. Secondary to this place, are the towns at 
the head of the tide waters, to wit, Petersburg on 
Appomattox; Richmond on James' river; Newcastle 
on York river; Alexandria on Potomac, and Balti- 
more on Patapsco. From these the distribution 
will be to subordinate situations in the country'. 
Accidental circumstances, however, may control 
the indications of nature, and in no instance do they 
do it more frequently than in the rise and fall of 


The constitution of the State and its several charters f 

Queen Elizabeth by her letters patent, bearing 

date March 25, 1584, licensed Sir Walter Raleigh to 


^^H^ Notes on Virginia 149 

search for remote heathen lands, not inhabited by 
Christian people, and granted to him in fee simple, 
all the soil within two hundred leagues of the places 
where his people should, within six years, make 
their dwellings or abidings; reserving only to her- 
self and her successors, their allegiance and one-fifth 
part of all the gold and silver ore they should obtain. 
Sir Walter immediately sent out two ships, which 
visited Wococon island in North Carolina, and the 
next year despatched seven with one hundred and 
seven men, who settled in Roanoke island, about 
latitude 35° 50'. Here Okisko, king of the Weopo- 
meiocs, in a full council of his people is said to have 
acknowledged himself the homager of the Queen of 
England, and, after her, of Sir Walter Raleigh. A 
supply of fifty men were sent in 1586, and one hun- 
dred and fifty in 1587. With these last Sir Walter 
sent a governor, appointed him twelve assistants, 
gave them a charter of incorporation, and instructed 
them to settle on Chesapeake bay. They landed, 
however, at Hatorask. In 1588, when a fleet was 
ready to sail with a new supply of colonists and 
necessaries, they were detained by the Queen to 
assist against the Spanish armada. Sir Walter 
having now expended £40,000 in these enterprises, 
obstructed occasionally by the crown without a 
shilling of aid from it, was under a necessity of en- 
gaging others to adventure their money. He, there- 
fore, by deed bearing date the 7th of March, 1589, 
by the name of Sir Walter Raleigh, Chief Governor 

15° Jefferson's Works 

of Assam^cbmoc, (probably Acomkc.) alias Winga- 
dacoia, alias Virginia, granted to Thomas Smith 
and others, in consideration of their adventuring 
certain sums of money, liberty to trade to this new 
country free from all customs and taxes for seven 
years, excepting the fifth part of the gold and silver 
ore to be obtained; and stipulated with them and 
the other assistants, then in Virginia, that he would 
confirm the deed of incorporation which he had 
given in 1587, with all the prerogatives, jurisdic- 
tions, royalties and privileges granted to him bv 
the Queen. Sir Walter, at different times, sent 
five other adventurers hither, the last of which 
was in 1602; for in 1603 he was attainted and put 
into close imprisonment, which put an end to his 
cares over his infant colony. What was the par- 
ticular fate of the colonists he had before sent and 
seated, has never been known; whether they were 
murdered, or incorporated with the savages. 

Some gentlemen and merchants, supposing that 
by the attainder of Sir Walter Raleigh the grant to 
him was forfeited, not inquiring over carefully 
whether the sentence of an English court could 
affect lands not within the jurisdiction of that court, 
^letitioned king James for a new grant of Virginia 
to them. He accordingly executed a grant to Sir 
Thomas Gates and others, bearing date the 9th of 
March, 1607, under which, in the same year, a set- 
tlement was effected at Jamestown, and ever after 
maintained. Of this grant, however, no particular 

Notes on Virginia iS^ 

notice need be taken, as it was superseded by letters 
patent of the same king, of May 23, 1609, to the 
Earl of Salisbury and others, incorporating them 
by the name of "The Treasurer and company of 
Adventurers and Planters of the City of London 
for the first colony in Virginia," granting to them 
and their successors all the lands in Virginia from 
Point Comfort along the sea-coast, to the northward 
two hundred miles, and from the same point along 
the sea-coast to the southward two hundred miles, 
and all the space from this precinct on the sea-coast 
up into the land, west and north-west, from sea to 
sea, and the islands within one htmdred miles of it, 
with all the commtmities, jurisdictions, royalties, 
privileges, franchises, and pre-eminencies, within 
the same, and thereto and thereabouts, by sea and 
land, appertaining in as ample manner as had be- 
fore been granted to any adventurer; to be held of 
the king and his successors, in common soccage, 
yielding one-fifth part of the gold and silver ore to 
be therein fotind, for all manner of services; estab- 
lishing a counsel in England for the direction of the 
enterprise, the members of which were to be chosen 
and displaced by the voice of the majority of the 
company and adventurers, and were to have the 
nomination and revocation of governors, officers, 
and ministers, which by them should be thought 
needful for the colony, the power of establishing 
laws and forms of government and magistracy, ob- 
ligatory not only within the colony, but also on the 

Jefferson's Works 


seas in going and coming to and from it; authori* 
ing them to carry thither any persons who should.! 
consent to go, freeing them forever from all taxejfJ 
and impositions on any goods or merchandise on* 
importations into the colony, or exportation out oim 
it. -except the five per cent, due for custom on a&v 
goods imported into the British dominions, accord-4^ 
ing to the ancient trade of merchants; which fiw 
per cent, only being paid they might, within thirtei 
months, re-export the same goods into foreign parts,' 
without any custom, tax, or other duty, to the king 
or any of his officers, or deputies; with powers of 
waging war against those who should annoy them ; 
giving to the inhabitants of the colony all the right&J 
of natural subjects, as if bom and abiding in Eng->| 
land; and declaring that these letters should 
construed, in all doubtful parts, in such manner t 
should be most for the benefit of the grantees. 

Afterwards on the 12th of March, 1612, by otha 
letters patent, the king added to his former granti 
all islands in any part of the ocean between the 3otl 
and 41st degrees of latitude, and within three hu 
dred leagues of any of the parts before granted ■ 
the treasurer and company, not being possessed ( 
inhabited by any other Christian prince or statCj 
nor within the limits of the northern colony. 

In pursuance of the authorities given to the coin-4 
pany by these charters, and more especially of thav 
part in the charter of 1609, which authorized them 
to establish a form of government, they on the 24th 


^^^1^ Notes on Virginia ^53 

of July. 1621. by charter under their common seal, 
declared that from thenceforward there should be 
two supreme councils in Virginia, the one to be called 
the council of state, to be placed and displaced by the 
treasurer, council in England, and company from 
time to time, whose office was to be that of assist- 
ing and advising the governor; the other to be called 
the general assembly, to be convened by the gov- 
ernor once yearly or of tencr, which was to consist of 
the council of state, and two burgesses out of every 
town, hundred, or plantation, to be respectively 
chosen by the inhabitants. In this all matters were 
to be decided by the greater part of the votes present ; 
reserving to the governor a negative voice; and they 
■were to have power to treat, consult, and conclude 
all emergent occasions concerning the public weal, 
and to make laws for the behoof and government of 
the colony, imitating and following the laws and 
policy of England as nearly as might be; providing 
that these laws should have no force till ratified in a 
general court of the company in England, and re- 
turned under their common seal; and declaring 
that, after the government of the colony should be 
well framed and settled, no orders of the council in 
England should bind the colony unless ratified in the 
said general assembly. The king and company quar- 
relled, and by a mixture of law and force, the latter 
were ousted of all their rights without retribution, 
after having expended one hundred thousand pounds 
in establishing the colony, without the smallest aid 

S54 Jefferson's Works 

from government. King James suspended their 
powers by proclamation of July 15, 1624, and Charles 
I. took the government into his own hands. Both 
sides had their partisans in the colony, but, in truth, 
the people of the colony in general thought them- 
selves little concerned in the dispute. There being 
three parties interested in these several charters, 
what passed between the first and second, it was 
thought could not affect the third. If the king 
seized on the powers of the company, they only 
passed into other hands, without increase or dimi- 
nution, while the rights of the people remained as 
they were. But they did not remain so long. The 
northern parts of their country were granted away 
to the lords Baltimore and Fairfax ; the first of these 
obtaining also the rights of separate jurisdiction and 
government. And in 1650 the parliament. considering 
itself as standing in the place of their deposed king, 
and as having succeeded to all his powers, without 
as well as within the realm, began to assume a right 
over the colonies, passing an act for inhibiting their 
trade with foreign nations. This succession to the 
exercise of kingly authority gave the first color for 
parliamentary interference with the colonies, and 
produced that fatal precedent which they continued 
to follow, after they had retired, in other respects, 
within their proper functions. When this colony, 
therefore, which still maintained its opposition to 
Cromwell and the parliament, was induced in 1651 
to lay down their arms, they previously secured 

Notes on Virginia iS5 

their most essential rights by a solemn convention, 
which, having never seen in print, I will here insert 
literally from the records. 

"ARTICLES agreed on and concluded at James Cittie in Virginia 
for the surrendering and settling of that plantation under the obedi- 
ence and government of the commonwealth of England by the com- 
missioners of the Councill of State by authoritie of the parliamt of Eng- 
land, and by the Grand assembly of the Govemour, Councill, and 
Burgesses of that countrey. 

** First it is agreed and consted that the plantation of Virginia, and 
all the inhabitants thereof, shall be and remain in due obedience and 
subjection to the Commonwealth of England, according to the laws 
there established, and that this submission and subscription bee ac- 
knowledged a voluntary act not forced nor constrained by a conquest 
upon the countrey, and that they shall have and enjoy such freedoms 
and priviledges as belong to the free borne people of England, and 
that the former government by the Commissions and Instructions be 
void and null. 

"aly. That the Grand assembly as formerly shall convene and 
transact the affairs of Virginia, wherein nothing is to be acted or done 
contrairie to the government of the Commonwealth of England and 
the lawes there established. 

**3ly. That there shall be a full and totall remission and indempnitie 
of all acts, words, or writeings done or spoken against the parliament 
of England in relation to the same. 

"4ly. That Virginia shall have and enjoy the anticnt bounds and 
lymitts granted by the charters of the former kings, and that we shall 
seek a new charter from the parliament to that purpose against any 
that have intrencht upon the rights thereof. 

** 5ly. That all the pattents of land granted under the colony seal 
by any of the precedent govemours shall be and rcmainc in their full 
force and strength. 

**6ly. That the priviledge of haveing Hiftie acres of land for every 
person transported in that collonie shall continue as formerly granted. 

** 7ly. That the people of Virginia have free trade as the pe^rplc of 
England do enjoy to all places and with all nations accr^rding U) the 
lawes of that commonwealth, and that Virginia shall enjoy all privi- 
ledges eqtiall with any English plantatif>ns in America. 

"8ly. That Virginia shall be free (rfftn all taxes, cusUjms and impo- 
sitions whatsoever, and none to be imposed on them without consent 


Jefferson's Works 

of the Grand assembly; and soe that neither fforts nor caatla 
erected or garrisons maintained without their consent. 

"gly. That noe charge shall be required from this country in ro» 
spect of this present flieet. 

"loly. That for the future settlement of the countrey in their due 
obedience, the engaKement shall be tendred to all the inhabitants ac- 
cording to act of parliament made to that purpose, that all persons 
who shall refuse to subscribe the said engagement, shall have a yeare's 
time if they please to remove themselves and their estates out of Vir- 
ginia, and in the meantime during the said ycare to have equall justice 
as formerly, 

" I ily. That the use of the bookc of common prayer shall be pet-. 
mitled for ore yeare ensueinge with referrence to the consent of tlwl 
major part of the parishes, provided that those which relate to kiny 
shipp or that government be not used publiquely. and the continuance 
of ministers in their places, they not misdemeaning themselves, and 
the payment of their accustomed dues and agreements made with 
them respectively shall be left as they now stand durrang this ensue- 
ing yeare. 

" Illy, That no man's cattell shall be questioned as the compami^^ 
unless such as been entrusted with them or have disposed 
them without order, 

" I jly. That all ammunition, powder and armes, other than for 
vate use. shall be delivered up, securitie being given to make satii 
tion for it, 

"i4ly. That all goods allreadie brought hither by the Dutch or 
others which are now on shoar shall be free from surpriaall. 

" isly. That the quittrenta granted unto us by the late kinge for 
seaven yeares bee confirmed. 

" i61y. That the commissioners for the parliament subscri being these 
articles engage themselves and the honour of parliament for the full 
performance thereof; and that the present govemour, and the councill, 
and the burgesses do likewise subscribe and engage the whole coUony 
on their parts. 

Richard Bennett, — Scale. 


Edmond Curtis. — Seale. 

" Thcise articles were signed and sealed by the Commissioners of tlie 
Councill of state for the Commonwealth of England the twelvetb day 
of March 1651." 

Notes on Virginia ^57 

Then follow the articles stipulated by the governor 
and council, which relate merely to their own per- 
sons and property, and then the ensuing instrument: 

"An act of indetnpnilie made att the surrender of the counlrey. 
"Whereas, by the authoritie of the parliament wee the cotnniis- 
Stoners appointed by the council] of state authorized thereto, having 
brought a ffleet and force before James dttie in Virginia to reduce that 
collonie under the obedience of the commonwealth of England, and 
finding force raised by the Govemour and countrey to make opposition 
against the said ffleet, whereby assured danger appearinge of the ruine 
and destruction of the plantation, for prevention whereof the bur- 
gesses of all the several! plantations being called to advise and assist 
therrin, uppon long and serious debate, and in sad contemplation of 
the great miseries and certain destruction which were soe neerely hov- 
ering over the whole countrey; Wee the said Commissioners have 
thought fitt and condescending and granted to stgne and confirme 
under our hands, scales and by our oath, Articles bearinge date with 
theise presents, and do further declare that by the authoritie of the 
parliament and commonwealth of England derived unto us their com- 
missioners, that according to the articles in general! wee have granted 
an act of indempniticandobhvion toall the inhabitants of this collonie 
from all words, actions, or writings that have been spoken acted or 
wfritt against the parliament or commonwealth of England or any 
other person from the beginning of the world to this daye. And this 
■we have done that all the inhabitants of the collonie may live quietly 
and securely under the commonwealth of England. And we do prom- 
ise that the parliament and commonwealth of England shall confirm 
and make good all those transactions of ours. Witness our hands and 
scales this 13th of March 1651. 

Richard Bbnnbtt. — Seale. 

William Claibornb. — Seale. 

Eduomd Curtis. — Seale." 

The colony supposed, that, by this solemn con- 
vention, entered into with arms in their hands, they 
had secured the ancient limits' of their country, its 
free trade,' its exemption from taxation' but by 
' Art. 4. • Art. j. 'Art. 8. 


Jefferson's Works 

their own assembly, and exclusion of military fora 
from among them. Yet in every of these points wa 
this convention violated by subsequent kings and-l 
parliaments, and other infractions of their constitu-,, 
tion, equally dangerous committed. Their general! 
assembly, which was composed of the council 
state and burgesses, sitting together and decidin^'l 
by plurality of voices, was split into two houses, by-J 
which the council obtained a sejiarate negative otf 
their laws. Appeals from their supreme court, whicllfl 
had been fixed by law in their general assembly,^ 
were arbitrarily revoked to England, to be the 
heard before the king and council. Instead of fou 
hundred miles on the seacoast, they were reduced^ 
in the space of thirty years, to about one hundn 
miles. Their trade with foreigners was totally 
suppressed, and when carried to Great Britain, was 
there loaded with imposts. It is unnecessary, how- 
ever, to glean up the several instances of injury, 
scattered through American and British historyj 
and the more especially as, by passing on to ' 
accession of the present king, we shall find specimei 
of them all, aggravated, multiplied and crowd© 
within a small compass of time, so as to evince i 
fixed design of considering our rights natural, con*1 
ventional and chartered as mere nullities. The ' 
following is an epitome of the first sixteen years of 
his reign: The colonies were taxed internally and 
externally; their essential interests sacrificed 

Lcrificed to^H 

Notes on Virginia i59 

individuals in Great Britain; their legislatures sus- 
pended; charters annulled; trials by jiuies taken 
away; their persons subjected to transportation 
across the Atlantic, and to trial before foreign 
judicatories ; their supplications for redress thought 
beneath answer; themselves published as cowards 
in the coimcils of their mother coimtry and courts 
of Europe ; armed troops sent among them to enforce 
submission to these violences ; and actual hostilities 
commenced against them. No alternative was 
presented but resistance, or unconditional submission. 
Between these could be no hesitation. They closed 
in the appeal to arms. They declared themselves 
independent states. They confederated together 
into one great republic; thus securing to every 
State the benefit of an union of their whole force. 
In each State separately a new form of government 
was established. Of ours particularly the following 
are the outlines: The executive powers are lodged 
in the hands of a governor, chosen annually, and 
incapable of acting more then three years in seven. 
He is assisted by a coimcil of eight members. The 
judiciary powers are divided among several courts, 
as will be hereafter explained. Legislation is exer- 
cised by two houses of assembly, the one called the 
house of Delegates, composed of two members from 
each coimty, chosen annually by the citizens, pos- 
sessing an estate for life in one hundred acres of 
uninhabited land, or twenty-five acres with a house 
on it, or in a house or lot in some town : the other 

*6o Jefferson's Works 

called the Senate, consisting of twenty-four mem- 
bers, chosen quadrenially by the same electors, who 
for this purpose are distributed into twenty-four 
districts. The concurrence of both houses is neces- 
sary to the passage of a law. They have the ap- 
pointment of the governor and council, the judges 
of the superior courts, auditors, attorney-general, 
treasurer, register of the land office, and delegates 
to Congress. As the dismemberment of the State 
had never had its confirmation, but, on the con- 
trary, had always been the subject of protestation 
and complaint, that it might never be in our own 
power to raise scruples on that subject, or to disturb 
the harmony of our new confederacy, the grants 
to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the two Carolinas, 
were ratified. 

This constitution was formed when we were new 
and unexperienced in the science of government. It 
was the first, too, which was formed in the whole 
United States. No wonder then that time and trial 
have discovered very capital defects in it. 

1. The majority of the men in the State, who pay 
and fight for its support, are unrepresented in the 
legislature, the roll of freeholders entitled to vote 
not including generally the half of those on the roll 
of the mihtia, or of the tax-gatherers. 

2. Among those who share the representation, the 
shares are very unequal. Thus the county of War- 
wick, with only one hundred fighting men, has an 
equal representation with the county of Loudon, 


Notes on Virginia i6i 

which has one thousand seven hundred and forty- 
six. So that every man in Warwick has as much 
influence in the government as seventeen men in 
Loudon. But lest it should be thought that an 
equal interspersion of small among large counties, 
through the whole State, may prevent any danger 
of injury to particular parts of it, we will divide it 
into districts, and show the proportions of land, of 
fighting men, and of representation in each : 

Between the sea-coast and falls of 

the rivers '11,205 x9tOza 7: za 

Between the falls of the rivers and 

Blue Ridge of mountains iS»759 i8,8a8 46 8 

Between the Blue Ridge and the 

Alleghany 11.91X 7>673 '^ * 

Between the Alleghany and Ohio '79,650 4,458 z6 a 

Total 121,525 49.971 149 «4 

An inspection of this table will supply the place 
of commentaries on it. It will appear at once that 
nineteen thousand men, living below the falls of the 
rivers, possess half the senate, and want four mem- 
bers only of possessing a majority of the house of 
delegates ; a want more than supplied by the vicinity 
of their situation to the seat of government, and of 
course the greater degree of convenience and punc- 
tuality with which their members may and will 

' Of these 542 are on the eastern shore. 

' Of these, 22,616 are eastward of the meridian of the north of the 
Great Kanhaway. 

VOL. n — 1 1 


Jefferson's Works 


attend in the legislature. These nineteen thousand, 
therefore, living in one part of the coiintr>% give law 
to upwards of thirty thousand living in another, 
and appoint all their chief officers, executive and 
judiciary. From the difference of their situation 
and circumstances, their interests will often be 
very different. 

3, The senate is, by its constitution, too homo- 
geneous with the house of delegates. Being chosen 
by the same electors, at the same time, and out of 
the same subjects, the choice falls of course on men 
of the same description. The purpose of estab- 
lishing different houses of legislation is to introduce 
the influence of different interests or different prin- 
ciples. Thus in Great Britain it is said their con- 
stitution relies on the house of commons for honesty, 
and the lords for wisdom; which would l>e a rational 
reliance, if honesty were to be bought with money, 
and if wisdom were hereditary. In some of the 
American States, the delegates and senators are so 
chosen, as that the first represent the persons, and 
the second the property of the State. But with us, 
wealth and wisdom have equal chance for admission 
into both houses. We do not, therefore, derive 
from the separation of our legislature into two 
houses, tliose benefits which a proper complication 

• of principles are capable of producing, and those 
which alone can compensate the evils which may 
be produced by their dissensions. 

4. All the powers of government, legislative, 

Notes on Virginia 163 

executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative 
body. The concentrating these in the same hands 
is precisely the definition of despotic government. 
It will be no alleviation that these powers will be 
exercised by a pliu'ality of hands, and not by a single 
one. One himdred and seventy-three despots would 
surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who 
doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice. 
As little will it avail us that they are chosen by oiu"- 
selves. An elective despotism was not the govem- 
nient we fought for, but one which should not only 
be foimded on free principles, blit in which the pow- 
ers of government should be so divided and balanced 
among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one 
could transcend their legal limits, without being 
effectually checked and restrained by the others. 
For this reason that convention which passed the 
ordinance of government, laid its foundation on this 
basis, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary 
departments should be separate and distinct, so that 
no person should exercise the powers of more than 
one of them at the same time. But no barrier was 
provided between these several powers. The judi- 
ciary and executive members were left dependent 
on the legislative, for their subsistence in office, and 
some of them for their continuance in it. If, there- 
fore, the legislatiu'e assiunes executive and judiciary 
powers, no opposition is likely to be made; nor, if 
niade, can it be effectual ; because in that case they 
may put their proceedings into the form of an act 

'M Jefferson's Works 

of assembly, which will render them obligatory on 
the other branches. They have, accordingly, in 
many instances, decided rights which should have 
been left to judiciary controversy; and the direc- 
tion of the executive, during the whole time of their 
session, is becoming habitual and familiar. And 
this is done with no ill intention. The views of the 
present members are perfectly upright. When they 
are led out of their regular province, it is by art in 
others, and inadvertence in themselves. And this 
will probably be the case for some time to come. 
But it will not be a very long time. Mankind soon 
learn to make interested uses of every right and 
power which they possess, or may assume. The 
public money and public liberty, intended to have 
been deposited with three branches of magistracy, 
but found inadvertently to be in the hands of one 
only, will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth 
and dominion to those who hold them ; distinguished, 
too, by this tempting circumstance, that they are 
the instrument, as well as the object of acquisition. 
With money we will get men, said Cjesar, and with 
men we will get money. Nor should our assembly 
be deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, 
and conclude that these unlimited powers will never 
be abused, because themselves are not disposed to 
abuse them. They should look forward to a time, 
and that not a distant one, when a corruption in 
this, as in the country from which we derive our 
origin, will have seized the heads of government, 

Notes on Virginia 165 

and be spread by them through the body of the 
people; when they will purchase the voices of the 
people, and make them pay the price. Human 
nature is the same on every side of the Atlantic, 
and will be alike influenced by the same catises. 
The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, 
is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is 
better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust 
to drawing his teeth and claws after he shall have 
entered. To render these considerations the more 
cogent, we must observe in addition : 

S- That the ordinary legislature may alter the 
constitution itself. On the discontinuance of assem- 
blies, it became necessary to substitute in their 
place some other body, competent to the ordinary 
business of government, and to the calling forth the 
powers of the State for the maintenance of our 
opposition to Great Britain. Conventions were 
therefore introduced, consisting of two delegates 
from each county, meeting together and forming 
one house, on the plan of the former house of bur- 
gesses, to whose places they succeeded. These were 
at first chosen anew for every particular session. 
But in March 1775, they recommended to the people 
to choose a convention, which should continue in 
office a year. This was done, accordingly, in April 
1775, and in the July following that convention 
passed an ordinance for the election of delegates in 
the month of April annually. It is well known, 
that in July 1775, a separation from Great Britain 

i66 Jefferson's Works 

and establishment of republican government, had 
never yet entered into any person's mind. A con- 
vention, therefore, chosen under that ordinance, 
cannot be said to have been chosen for the purposes 
which certainly did not exist in the minds of those 
who passed it. Under this ordinance, at the annual 
election in April 1776, a convention for the year was 
chosen. Independence, and the establishment of 
a new form of government, were not even yet the 
objects of the people at large. One extract from 
the pamphlet called Common Sense had appeared 
in the Virginia papers in February, and copies of 
the pamphlet itself had got in a few hands. But 
the idea had not been opened to the mass of the 
people in April, much less can it be said that they 
had made up their minds in its favor. 

So that the electors of April 1776, no more than 
the legislators of July 1775, not thinking of inde- 
pendence and a pennanent republic, could not mean 
to vest in these delegates powers of establishing 
them, or any authorities other than those of the 
ordinary legislature. So far as a temporary organi- 
zation of government was necessary to render our 
opposition energetic, so far their organization was 
valid. But they received in their creation no powers 
but what were given to every legislature before and 
since. They could not, therefore, pass an act trans- 
cendent to the powers of other legislatures. If the 
present assembly pass an act, and declare it shall 
be irrevocable by subsequent assemblies, the decla- 

Notes on Virginia '67 

ration is merely void, and the act repealable, as other 
acts are. So far, and no farther authorized, they 
organized the government by the ordinance entitled 
a constitution or form of government. It pretends 
to no higher authority than the other ordinances of 
the same session; it does not say that it shall be 
perpetual; that it shall be unalterable by other 
legislatures; that it shall be transcendent above 
the powers of those who they knew would have equal 
power with themselves. Not only the silence of the 
instrument is a proof they thought it would be 
alterable, but their own practice also; for this very 
convention, meeting as a house of delegates in gen- 
eral assembly with the Senate in the autumn of that 
year, passed acts of assembly in contradiction to 
their ordinance of government; and every assembly 
from that time to this has done the same. I am 
safe, therefore, in the position that the constitution 
itself is alterable by the ordinary legislature. Though 
this opinion seems founded on the first elements of 
common sense, yet is the contrary maintained by 
some persons, r. Because, say they, the conven- 
tions were vested with every power necessary to 
make effectual opposition to Great Britain. But 
to complete this argument, they must go on, and 
say further, that effectual opposition could not be 
made to Great Britain without establishing a form 
of government perpetual and unalterable by the 
legislature; which is not true. An opposition which 
at some time or other was to come to an end, could 


Jefferson's Works 

not need a perpetual institution to carry it on; i 
a government amendable as its defects should 
discovered, was as likely to make effectual resist- 
ance, as one that should be unalterably wrong. 
Besides, the assemblies were as much vested with 
all powers requisite for resistance as the conventions 
were. If, therefore, these powers included that of 
modelling the form of government in the one case, 
they did so in the other. The assemblies then as 
well as the conventions may model the government; 
that is, they may alter the ordinance of government. 
2. They urge, that if the convention had meant that 
this instrument should be alterable, as their other 
ordinances were, they would have called it an ordi-: 
nance; but they have called it a constitution, which,' 
ex vi termini, means "an act above the power of 
the ordinary legislature." I answer that consti- 
tutio, constilutium, statutum, lex, are convertible 
terms. "Constitutio dicitur jus quod a principe 
conditure." " Constitutium, quod ab imperatoribus 
rescriptum statutumve est." "Statutum, idem quod 
lex." Calvini Lexicon juridicum. Constitution and 
statute were originally terms of the' civil law, and 
from thence introduced by ecclesiastics into the Enj 
lish law. Thus in the statute 35 Hen. VIII. c. 19, § 
"Constitutions and ordinances" are used as synony 
mous. The term constitution has many other sig- 
nifications in physics and politics; but in jurispru- 

he ancient le^slative word of the E 
LI. Inse. LI. Efulwerdi. LI. AathelstanL 1 


e Engltsh. l<d^| 
AathelstuiL ^^H 

Notes on Virginia 169 

dence, whenever it is applied to any act of the legis- 
lature, jt invariably means a statute, law, or ordinance 
which is the present case. No inference then of a 
different meaning can be drawn from the adoption 
of this title; on the contrary, we might conclude 
that, by their affixing to it a term synonymous with 
ordinance or statute. But of what consequence is 
their meaning, where their power is denied? If 
they meant to do more than they had power to do, 
did this give them power? It is not the name, but 
the authority that renders an act obligatory. Lord 
Coke says, "an article of the statute, 11 R. II. c. 5, 
that no person shoidd attempt to revoke any ordi- 
nance then made, is repealed, for that such restraints 
is against the jurisdiction and power of the parlia- 
ment." 4. Inst. 42. And again, "though divers 
parliaments have attempted to restrain subsequent 
parliaments, yet could they never effect it; for the 
latter parliament hath ever power to abrogate, 
suspend, qualify, explain, or make void the former 
in the whole or in any part thereof, notwithstanding 
any words of restraint, prohibition, or penalty, in 
the former ; for it is a maxim in the laws of the par- 
liament, qiwd leges posteriores priores contrarias 
abrogant.'' 4. Inst. 43. To get rid of the magic 
supposed to be in the word constitution, let us trans- 
late it into its definition as given by those who 
think it above the power of the law; and let us 
suppose the convention, instead of saying, "We 
the ordinary legislature, establish a constitution,'' 


Jefferson's Works 

had said, "We the ordinary legislature, establish 
an act above tlie power of the ordinary legislature." 
Does not this expose the absurdity of the attempt ? 
3. But, say they, the people have acquiesced, and 
this has given it an authority superior to the laws. 
It is true that the people did not rebel against it; 
and was that a lime for the people to rise in rebellion ? 
Should a prudent acquiescence, at a critical time, be 
construed into a confinnation of every illegal thing 
done during that period? Besides, why should they 
rebel? At an annual election they had chosen dele- 
gates for the j^ear, to exercise the ordinary powers 
of legislation, and to manage the great contest in 
which the)' were engaged. These delegates thought 
the contest would be best managed by an organized 
government. They therefore, among others, passed 
an ordinance of government. They did not pre- 
sume to call it perpetual and unalterable. They 
well knew they had no power to make it so; that 
our choice of them had been for no such purpose, 
and at a time when we could have no such purpose 
in contemplation. Had an unalterable form of 
government been meditated, perhaps we should 
have chosen a different set of people. There was no 
cause then for the people to rise in rebellion. But 
to what dangerous lengths will this argument lead? 
Did the acquiescence of the colonies under the 
various acts of fwwer exercised by Great Britain in 
our infant State, confirm these acts, and so far invest 
them with the authority of the people as to render 

Notes on Virginia 171 

them unalterable, and our present resistance wrong? 
On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the 
l^islature must the people rise in rebellion, or their 
silence be construed into a siurender of that power 
to them? If so, how many rebellions should we 
have had already? One certainly for every session 
of assembly. The other States in the imion have 
been of opinion that to render a form of government 
imalterable by ordinary acts of assembly, the people 
must delegate persons with special powers. They 
have accordingly chosen special conventions to 
form and fix their governments. The individuals 
then who maintain the contrary opinion in this 
country, should have the modesty to suppose it 
possible that they may be wrong, and the rest of 
America right. But if there be only a possibility 
of their being wrong, if only a plausible doubt re- 
mains of the validity of the ordinance of govern- 
ment, is it not better to remove that doubt by plac- 
ing it on a bottom which none will dispute ? If they 
be right we shall only have the unnecessary trouble 
of meeting once in convention. If they be wrong, 
they expose us to the hazard of having no funda- 
mental rights at all. True it is, this is no time for 
deliberating on forms of government. While an 
enemy is within our bowels, the first object is to 
expel him. But when this shall be done, when 
peace shall be established, and leistire given us for 
intrenching within good forms, the rights for which 
we have bled, let no man be found indolent enough 


Jefferson's Works 

to decline a little more trouble for placing them i 
beyond the reach of question. If anything more he- 
requisite to produce a conviction of the expediency ' 
of calling a convention at a proper season to fix our 
form of government, let it be the reflection: 

6. That the assembly exercises a power of deter- 
mining the quorum of their own body which may' j 
legislate for us. After the establishment of the , 
new form they adhered to the Lex majoris partis, 
founded in common law' as well as common right. 
It is the natural law' of every assembly of men, 
whosenumbersarenotfixedby any other law. They | 
continued for some time to require the presence of 
a majority of their whole number, to pass an act. 
But the British parliament fixes its own quorum; 
our former assemblies fixpd their own quorum ; and 
one precedent in favor of power is stronger than an 
hundred against it. The house of delegates, there- 
fore, have lately' voted that, during the present! 
dangerous invasion, forty members shall be a house 1 
to proceed to business. They have been moved to 
this by the fear of not being able to collect a house. 
But this danger could not authorize them to call 
that a house which was none; and if they may fix ■ 
it at one number, they may at another, till it loses! 
its fundamental character of being a representati\ 
body. As this vote expires with the present inva- 

' Bro. abr. Corporations, ji, 
* Puff. Off. horn. 1. X, c. 6, ( 1 

,14. Hakcwell, gj, 

Notes on Virginia 173 

sion, it is probable the former rule will be permitted 
to revive; because at present no ill is meant. The 
power, however, of fixing their own quorum has 
been avowed, and a precedent set. From forty it 
may be reduced to four, and from four to one; from 
a house to a committee, from a committee to a chair- 
man or speaker, and thus an oligarchy or monarchy 
be substituted under forms supposed to be regular. 
"Omnia mala exempla ex bonis orta sunt; sed ubi 
imperium ad ignaros aut minus bonos pervenit, 
novum illud exemplum ab dignis et idoneis adin- 
dignos et non idoneos fertur." When, therefore, it 
is considered, that there is no legal obstacle to the 
assumption by the assembly of all the powers legis- 
lative, executive, and judiciary, and that these 
may come to the hands of the smallest rag of 
delegation, surely the people will say, and their 
representatives, while yet they have honest repre- 
sentatives, will advise them to say, that they will 
not acknowledge as laws any acts not considered 
and assented to by the major part of their delegates. 
In enumerating the defects of the Constitution, 
it would be wrong to count among them what is 
only the error of particular persons. In December 
1776, our circtunstances being much distressed, it 
was proposed in the house of delegates to create a 
dictator, invested with every power legislative, exec- 
utive, and judiciary, civil and military, of life and of 
death, over our persons and over our properties; 
and in Jtme 1781, again under calamity, the same 

174 Jefferson's Works 

proposition was repeated, and wanted a few votes 
only of being passed. One who entered into this 
contest from a pure love of liberty, and a sense of 
injured rights, who determined to make every sacri- 
fice, and to meet ever;' danger, for the re-establish- 
ment of those rights on a firm basis, who did not 
mean to expend his blood and substance for the 
wretched purpose of changing this matter for that, 
but to place the powers of governing him in a plural- 
ity of hands of his own choice, so that tlie corrupt 
will of no one man might in future oppress him, must 
stand confounded and dismayed when he is told, that 
a considerable portion of that plurality had medi- 
ated the surrender of them into a single hand, and, 
in lieu of a limited monarchy, to deliver him over 
to a despotic one! How must we find his efforts and 
sacrifices abused and baffled, if he may still, by a 
single vote, be laid prostrate at the feet of one man! 
In God's name, from whence have they derived this 
power? Is it from our ancient laws? None such 
can be produced. Is it from any principle in our 
new Constitution expressed or implied? Every 
lineament expressed or implied, is in full opposition to 
it. Its fundamental principle is, that the State 
shall be governed as a commonwealth. It provides 
a republican organization, proscribes under the 
name of prerogative the exercise of all powers unde- 
fined by the laws; places on this basis the whole 
system of our laws; and by consolidating them to- 
gether, chooses that they should be left to stand or 

Notes on Virginia i7S 

fall together, never providing for any circumstances, 
nor admitting that such could arise, wherein either 
should be suspended; no, not for a moment. Our 
ancient laws expressly declare, that those who are 
but delegates themselves shall not delegate to others 
powers which require judgment and integrity in their 
exercise. Or was this proposition moved on a sup- 
posed right in the movers, of abandoning their posts 
in a moment of distress? The same laws forbid the 
abandonment of that post, even on ordinary occa- 
sions ; and much more a transfer of their powers into 
other hands and other forms, without consulting the 
people. They never admit the idea that these, like 
sheep or cattle, may be given from hand to hand 
without an appeal to their own will. Was it from 
the necessity of the case? Necessities which dis- 
solve a government, do not convey its authority to 
an oligarchy or a monarchy. They throw back, 
into the hands of the people, the powers they had 
delegated, and leave them as individuals to shift for 
themselves. A leader may offer, but not impose him- 
self, nor be imposed on them. Much less can their 
necks be submitted to his sword, their breath to be 
held at his will or caprice. The necessity which 
should operate these tremendous effects should at 

[least be palpable and irresistible. Yet in both 
instances, where it was feared, or pretended with us. 
it was belied by the event. It was belied, too, by 
the preceding experience of our sister States, several 
of whom had grappled through greater difficulties 

17^ Jefferson's Works 

without abandoning their forms of government. 
When the proposition was first made, Massachusetts 
had found even the government of committees suffi- 
cient to carry them through an invasion. But we 
at the time of that proposition, were under no inva- 
sion. When the second was made, there had been 
added to this example those of Rhode Island, New 
York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in all of which 
the republican form had been found equal to the 
task of carr>'ing them through the severest trials. 
In this State alone did there exist so little virtue, 
that fear was to be fixed in the hearts of the people, 
and to become the motive of their exertions, and 
principle of their government? The very thought 
alone was treason against the people; was treason 
against mankind in general ; as riveting forever the 
chains which bow down their necks, by giving to 
their oppressors a proof, which they would have 
trumpeted through the universe, of the imbecility of 
republican government, in times of pressing danger, 
to shield them from harm. Those who assume the 
right of giving away the reins of government in any 
case, must be sure that the herd, whom they hand on 
to the rods and hatchet of the dictator, will lay their 
necks on the block when the shall nod to them. But 
if our assemblies supposed such a recognition in the 
people, I hope they mistook their character. I am 
of opinion, that the government, instead of being 
braced and invigorated for greater exertions under 
their difficulties, would have been thrown back upon 


Notes on Virginia i77 

the bungling machinery" of county committees for 
administration, till a convention could have been 
called, and its wheels again set into regular motion. 
What a cruel moment was this for creating such an 
embarrassment, for putting to the proof the attach- 
ment of our countrymen to republican government! 
Those who meant well, of the advocates of this meas- 
ure, (and most of them meant well, for I know ttiem 
personally, had been their fellow-laborer in the com- 
mon cause, and had often proved the purity of their 
principles,) had been seduced in their judgment 
by the example of an ancient republic, whose consti- 
tution and circumstances were fundamentally differ- 
ent. They had sought this precedent in the history 
of Rome, where alone it was to be found, and where 
at length, too, it had proved fatal. They had taken 
it from a republic rent by the most bitter factions 
and tumults, where the government was of a heavy- 
handed unfeeling aristocracy, over a people ferocious, 
and rendered desperate by poverty and wretchedness ; 
tumults which could not be allayed under the most 
trying circumstances, but by the omnifxitent hand 
of a single despot. Their constitution, therefore, 
allowed a temporary tyrant to be erected, under the 
name of a dictator; and that temporary tyrant, after 
a few examples, became perpetual. They misap- 
plied this precedent to a people mild in their dispo- 
sitions, patient under their trial, united for the public 
liberty, and affectionate to their leaders. But if from 
the constitution .of the Roman government there 


Jefferson's Works 


resulted to their senate a power of submitting all 
their rights to the will of one man, does it follow 
that the assembly of Virginia have the same author- 
ity? What clause in our constitution has substi- 
tuted that of Rome, by way of residuary provision, 
for all cases not otherwise provided for? Or if they 
may step ad libitum into any other form of govern- 
ment for precedents to rule us by, for what oppression 
may not a precedent be found in this world of the 
ballum omnium in omnia ? Searching for the founda- 
tions of this proposition, I can find none which may 
pretend a color of right orreason, but the defect before 
developed, that there being no barrier between the 
legislative, executive, and judiciary departments, the 
legislature may seize the whole; that having seized 
it, and possessing a right to fix their own quorum, 
they may reduce that quorum to one, whom they 
may call a chairman, speaker, dictator, or by any other 
name they please. Our situation is indeed perilous, 
and I hope my countrymen will be sensible of it. and 
will apply, at a proper season, the proper remedy; 
which is a convention to fix the constitution, to 
amend its defects, to bind up the several branches of 
government by certain laws, which, when they trans- 
gress, their acts shall become nullities; to render 
imnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other 
words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, 
on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed 
into an intention to surrender those rig! 

rights. ^m 

.James Madison 

t-e'i; «-<i^« 

fi ,;^:r.i:f/ -.onnril 


■ • ■ I ' 

I ■ 

Notes on Virginia i79 


The administration of justice and the description of 

the laws ? 

The State is divided into counties. In every 
county are appointed magistrates, called justices of 
the peace, usually from eight to thirty or forty in 
number, in proportion to the size of the county, of 
the most discreet and honest inhabitants. They 
are nominated by their fellows, but commissioned 
by the governor, and act without reward. These 
magistrates have jurisdiction both criminal and 
civil. If the question before them be a question of 
law only, they decide on it themselves; but if it be 
of fact, or of fact and law combined, it must be 
referred to a jury. In the latter case, of a combi- 
nation of law and fact, it is usual for the jurors to 
decide the fact, and to refer the law arising on it to 
the decision of the judges. But this division of the 
subject lies with their discretion only. And if the 
question relate to any point of public liberty, or if 
it be one of those in which the judges may be sus- 
pected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both 
law and fact. If they be mistaken, a decision against 
right, which is casual only, is less dangerous to the 
State, and less afflicting to the loser, than one which 
makes part of a regular and uniform system. In 
truth, it is better to toss up cross and pile in a cause, 
than to refer it to a judge whose mind is warped by 
any motive whatever, in that particular case. But 

x8o Jefferson's Works 

the common sense of twelve honest men gives still 
a better chance of just decision, than the hazard of 
cross and pile. These judges execute their process 
bj' the sheriff or coroner of the county, or by consta- 
bles of their own appointment. If any free person 
commit an offence against the commonwealth, if it 
be below the degree of felony, he is bound b)' a justice 
to appear before their court, to answer it on an 
indictment or infonnation. If it amount to felony, 
he is committed to jail; a court of these justices is 
called; if they on examination think him guilty, 
they send him to the jail of the general court, before 
which court he is to be tried first by a grand jur>^ of 
twenty-four, of whom thirteen must concur in opin- 
ion; if they find him guilty, he is then tried by a 
jury of twelve men of the county where the oftence 
was committed, and by their verdict, which must be 
unanimous, he is acquitted or condemned without 
appeal. If the criminal be a slave, the trial by the 
county court is final. In every case, however, except 
that of high treason, there resides in the governor a 
power of pardon. In high treason the pardon can 
only flow from the general assembly. In civil mat- 
ters these justices have jurisdiction in all cases of 
whatever value, not appertaining to the department 
of the admiralty. This jurisdiction is twofold. If 
the matter in dispute be of less value than four 
dollars and one-sixth, a single member may try it 
at any time and place within his county, and may 
award execution on the goods of the party cast. K 

Notes on Virginia i8i 

it be of that or greater value, it is determinable 
before the county court, which consists of four at 
the least of those justices and assembles at the court- 
house of the county on a certain day in every month. 
From their determination, if the matter be of the 
value of ten pounds sterling, or concern the title or 
bounds of lands, an appeal lies to one of the superior 

There are three or four superior courts, to wit, the 
high court of chancery, the general court, and the 
court of admiralty. The first and second of these 
receive appeals from the county courts, and also have 
original jurisdiction, where the subject of contro- 
versy is of the value of ten pounds sterling, or where 
it concerns the title bounds or lands. The juris- 
diction of the admiralty is original altogether. The 
high court of chancery is composed of three judges, 
the general court of five, and the court of admiralty 
of three. The two first hold their sessions at Rich- 
mond at stated times, the chancery twice in the 
year, and the general court twice for business, civil 
and criminal, and twice more for criminal only. 
The court of admiralty sits at Williamsburg when- 
ever a controversy arises. 

There is one supreme court, called the court of 
appeals, composed of the judges of the three superior 
courts, assembling twice a year at stated times at 
Richmond. This court receives appeals in all civil 
cases from each of the superior courts, and deter- 
mines them finally. But it has no original juris- 

i8a Jefferson's Works 

If a controversy arise between two foreigners of a 
nation in alliance with the United States, it is de- 
cided by the Consul for their State, or, if both parties 
choose it, by the ordinary courts of justice. K one of 
the parties only be such a foreigner, it is triable 
before the courts of justice of the country. But if it 
shall have been instituted in a county court, the 
foreigner may remove it into the general court, or 
court of chancery, who are to determine it at their 
first sessions, as they must also do if it be originally 
commenced before them. In cases of life and death, 
such foreigners have a right to be tried by a jur^', 
the one-half foreigners, the other natives. 

All public accounts are settled with a board of 
auditors, consisting of three members appointed by 
the general assembly, any two of whom may act. 
But an individual, dissatisfied with the determina- 
tion of that board, may carr>- his case into the proper 
superior court. 

A description of the laws. 

The general assembly was constituted, as has been 
already shown, by letters-patent of March the 9th, 
1607, in the fourth year of the reign of James the 
first. The laws of England seem to have been 
adopted by consent of the settlers, which might 
easily enough be done whilst they were few and 
living all together. Of such adoption, however, we 
have no other proof than their practice till the year 
1661, when they were expressly adopted by an act 
of the assembly, except so far as " a difference of con- 

Notes on Virginia 



dition" rendered them inapplicable. Under this 
adoption, the rule, in our courts of judicature was, 
that the common law of England, and the general 
statutes previous to the fourth of James, were in 
force here; but that no subsequent statutes were. 
■unless we were named in them, said the judges and 
other partisans of the crown, but named or not named, 
said those who reflected freely. It will be unnecessary 
to attempt a description of the laws of England, as 
that may be found in English publications. To 
those which were established here, by the adoption 
of the legislature, have been since added a number of 
acts of assembly passed during the monarchy, and 
ordinances of convention and acts of assembly 
enacted since the establishment of the republic. 
The following variations from the British model are 
I>erhaps worthy of being specified: 

Debtors unable to pay their debts, and making 
faithful delivery of their whole effects, are released 
from confinement, and their persons forever dis- 
charged from restraint for such previous debts ; but 
any property they may afterwards acquire will be 
subject to their creditors. 

The poor unable to support themselves, are main- 
tained by an assessment on the tytheable persons in 
their parish. This assessment is levied and admin- 
istered by twelve persons in each parish, called 
vestrymen, originally chosen by the housekeepers of 
the parish, but afterwards filling vacancies in their 
own body by their own choice. These are usually 

i84 Jefferson's Works 

the most discreet fanners, so distributed through 
their parish, that every part of it may be under the 
immediate eye of some one of them. They are well 
acquainted with the details and economy of private 
life, and they find sufficient inducements to execute 
their charge well, in their philanthropy, in the appro- 
bation of their neighbors, and the distinction which 
that gives them. The poor who have neither prop- 
erty, friends, nor strength to labor, are boarded in 
the houses of good fanners, to whom a stipulated 
sum is annually paid. To those who are able to 
help themselves a little, or have friends from whom 
they derive some succors, inadequate however to 
their full maintenance, supplementary aids are 
given which enable them to live comfortably in their 
own houses, or in the houses of their friends. Vaga- 
bonds without visible jiroperty or vocation, are 
placed in work houses, where they are well clothed, 
fed, lodged, and made to labor. Nearly the same 
method of providing for the poor prevails through 
all our States; and from Savannah to Portsmouth 
you will seldom meet a beggar. In the large towns, 
indeed, they sometimes present themselves. These 
are usually foreigners, who have never obtained a 
settlement in any parish. I never yet saw a native 
American begging in the streets or highways. A 
subsistence is easily gained here; and if, by misfor- 
tunes, they are thrown on the charities of the 
world, those provided by their own country are so 
comfortable and so certain, that they never think of 

Notes on Virginia 185 

relinqtiishing them to become, strolling beggars. 
Their situation too, when sick, in the family of a 
good farmer, where every member is emulous to do 
them kind offices, where they are visited by all the 
neighbors, who bring them the little rarities which 
their sickly appetites may crave, and who take by 
rotation the nightly watch over them, when their 
condition requires it, is without comparison better 
than in a general hospital, where the sick, the dying 
and the dead are crammed together in the same 
rooms, and often in the same beds. The disadvant- 
ages, inseparable from general hospitals, are such as 
can never be counterpoised by all the regularities of 
medicine and regimen. Nature and kind nursing 
save a much greater proportion in our plain way, 
at a smaller expense, and with less abuse. One 
branch only of hospital institution is wanting with 
us; that is, a general establishment for those labor- 
ing tmder difficult cases of chirurgery. The aids of 
this art are not equivocal. But an able chirurgeon 
cannot be had in every parish. Such a receptacle 
should therefore be provided for those patients ; but 
no others should be admitted. 

Marriages must be solemni2sed either on special 
license, granted by the first magistrate of the county, 
on proof of the consent of the parent or guardian 
of either party under age, or after solemn publica- 
tion, on three several Sundays, at some place of 
religious worship, in the parishes where the parties 
reside. The act of solemnization may be by the 


Jefferson's Works 

minister of any society of Christians, who shall have 
been previously licensed for this purpose by the 
court of the county. Quakers and Menonists, how- 
ever, are exempted from all these conditions, and 
marriage among them is to be solemnized by the 
society itself. 

A foreigner of any nation, not in open war w^ith 
us, becomes naturalized by removing to the State 
to reside, and taking an oath of fidelity; and there- 
upon acquires every right of a native citizen; and 
citizens may divest themselves of that character, 
by declaring, by solemn deed, or in open court, that 
they mean to expatriate themselves, and no longer 
to be citizens of this State, 

Conveyances of land must be registered in the 
court of the county wherein they lie, or in the gen- 
eral court, or they are void, as to creditors, and 
subsequent purchasers. 

Slaves pass by descent and dower as lands do. 
Where the descent is from a parent, the heir is bound 
to pay an equal share of their value in money to 
each of their brothers and sisters. 

Slaves, as well as lands, were entailable during 
the monarchy ; but, by an act of the first republican 
assembly, all donees in tail, present and future, were 
vested with the absolute dominion of the entailed 

Bills of exchange, being protested, carry ten per 
cent, interest from their date. 

No person is allowed, in any other case, to take 


Notes on Virginia 187 

more than five per cent, per annum simple interest 
for the loan of moneys. 

Gaming debts are made void, and moneys actually 
paid to discharge such debts (if they exceed forty 
shillings) may be recovered by the payer within 
three months, or by any other person afterwards. 

Tobacco, flour, beef, pork, tar, pitch, and turpen- 
tine must be inspected by persons publicly ap- 
ix)inted, before they can be exported. 

The erecting iron-works and mills is encouraged 
l^y many privileges; with necessary cautions how- 
ever to prevent their dams from obstructing the 
Tiavigation of the water-courses. The general assem- 
T)ly have on several occasions shown a great desire 
ix) encourage the opening the great falls of James 
^nd Potomac rivers. As yet, however, neither of 
i;hese have been effected. 

The laws have also descended to the preservation 
^nd improvement of the races of useful animals, 
^uch as horses, cattle, deer; to the extirpation of 
i;hose which are noxious, as wolves, squirrels, crows, 
l)lackbirds ; and to the guarding our citizens against 
infectious disorders, by obliging suspected vessels 
coming into the State, to perform quarantine, and 
lyy regulating the conduct of persons having such 
<iisorders within the State. 

The mode of acquiring lands, in the earliest times 
of our settlement, was by petition to the general 
assembly. If the lands prayed for were already 
cleared of the Indian title, and the assembly thought 

"88 Jefferson's Works 

the prayer reasonable, they passed the property by 
their vote to the petitioner. But if they had not 
yet been ceded by the Indians, it was necessary that 
the petitioner should previously purchase their 
right. This purchase the assembly verified, by 
inquiries of the Indian proprietors ; and being satis- 
fied of its reality and fairness, proceeded further to 
examine the reasonableness of the petition, and its 
consistence with policy; and according to the result, 
either granted or rejected the petition. The com- 
pany also sometimes, though very rarely, granted 
lands, independently of the general assembly. As 
the colony increased, and individual applications 
for land multiplied, it was found to give too much oc- 
cupation to the general assembly to inquire into and 
execute the grant in every sjjecial case. They there- 
fore thought it better to establish general rules, 
according to which all grants should be made, and to 
leave to the governor the execution of them, imder 
these rules. This they did by what have been 
usually called the land laws, amending them from 
time to time, as their defects were developed. Ac- 
cording to these laws, when an individual wished a 
portion of unappropriated land, he was to locate 
and survey it by a public officer, appointed for that 
purpose; its breadth was to bear a certain propor- 
tion to its length: the grant was to be executed 
by the governor; and the lands were to be improved 
in a certain manner, within a given time. From 
these regulations there resulted to the State a sole 

Notes on Virginia 189 

and exclusive power of taking conveyances of the 
Indian right of soil; since, according to them an 
Indian conveyance alone could give no right to an 
individual, which the laws would acknowledge. The 
State, or the crown, thereafter, made general pur- 
chases of the Indians from time to time, and the 
governor parcelled them out by special grants, con- 
formable to the rules before described, which it was 
not in his power, or in that of the crown, to dispense 
with. Grants, unaccompanied by their proper legal 
circumstances, were set aside regularly by fieri 
facias, or by bill in chancery. Since the establish- 
ment of our new Government, this order of things 
is but little changed. An individual, wishing to 
appropriate to himself lands still unappropriated 
by any other, pays to the public treasurer a sum of 
money proportioned to the quantity he wants. He 
carries the treasurer's receipt to the auditors of 
public accounts, who thereupon debit the treasurer 
with the sum, and order the register of the land- 
office to give the party a warrant for his land. With 
this warrant from the register, he goes to the sur- 
veyor of the county where the land lies on which he 
has cast his eye. The surveyor lays it off for him, 
gives him its exact description, in the form of a cer- 
tificate, which certificate he returns to the land- 
office, where a grant is made out, and is signed by 
the governor. This vests in him a perfect dominion 
in his lands, transmissible to whom he pleases by deed 
or will, or by descent to his heirs, if he die intestate. 

1 9© 

Jefferson's Works 


Many of the laws which were in force during the 
monarchy being relative merely to that form of gov- 
ernment, or inculcating principles inconsistent with 
republicanism, the first assemlily which met after 
the establishment of the commonwealth a])ix)inted 
a committee to revise the whole code, to reduce it 
into proper fonn and volume, and report it to the 
assembly. This work has been executed by three 
gentlemen, and reported; but probably will not be 
taken up till a restoration of peace shall leave to the 
legislature leisure to go through such a work. 

The plan of the revisal was this. The common 
law of England, by which is meant, that part of the 
English law which was anterior to the date of 
oldest statutes extant, is made the basis of the worl 
It was thought dangerous to attempt to reduce it 
to a text; it was therefore left to be collected from 
the usual monuments of it. Necessary alterations 
in that, and so much of the whole body of the Bril 
ish statutes, and of acts of assembly, as were thoughl 
proper to be retained, were digested into one hun^ 
dred and twenty-six new acts, in which simplicity; 
of style was aimed at, as far as was safe. The fol- 
lowing are the most remarkable alterations proposed : 

To change the rules of descent, so as that the lands 
of any person dying intestate shall be divisible 
equally among all his children, or other 
tives, in equal degree. 

To make slaves distributable among 
kin, as other movables. 




r representa^^l 
; the next o^^| 

Notes on Virginia 19^ 

To have all public expenses, whether of the gen- 
eral treasury, or of a parish or county, (as for the 
maintenance of the poor, building bridges, court- 
houses, &c.,) supplied by assessment on the citizens, 
in proportion to their property. 

To hire undertakers for keeping the public roads 
in repair, and indemnify individuals through whose 
lands new roads shall be opened. 

To define with precision the rules whereby aliens 
should become citizens, and citizens make them- 
selves aliens. 

To establish religious freedom on the broadest 

To emancipate all slaves bcm after the passing 

the act. The bill reported by the revisers does not 

itself contain this proposition; but an amendment 

containing it was prepared, to be offered to the 

legislature whenever the bill should be taken up, 

and farther directing, that they should continue with 

their parents to a certain age, then to be brought 

up, at the public expense, to tillage, arts, or sciences, 

according to their geniuses, till the females should be 

eighteen, and the males twenty-one years of age, 

when they should be colonized to such place as the 

circumstances of the time should render most proper, 

Sending them out with arms, implements of house- 

liold and of the handicraft arts, seeds, pairs of the 

Toseful domestic animals, &c., to declare them a free 

and independent people, and extend to them our 

alliance and protection, till they have acquired 

i9» Tefferson's Works 

strength; and to send vessels at the same time to 
other parts of the world for an equal number of 
white inhabitants ; to induce them to migrate hither 
proper encouragements were to be proposed. It 
will probably be asked, Why not retain and incor- 
porate the blacks into the State, and thus save the 
expense of supplying by importation of white set- 
tlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep-rooted 
prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand 
recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have 
sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions 
which nature has made; and many other circum- 
stances, will divide us into parties, and produce con- 
vulsions, which will probably never end but in the 
extermination of the one or the other race. To these 
objections, which are political, may be added others, 
which are physical and moral. The first difference 
which strikes us is that of color. Whether the black 
of the negro resides in the reticular membrane be- 
tween the skin and scarf-skin, or in the scarf-skin 
itself; whether it proceeds from the color of the 
blood, the color of the bile, or from that of some 
other secretion, the difference is fixed in nature, and 
is as real as if its seat and cause were better known 
to us. And is this difference of no importance? Is 
it not the foundation of a greater or less share of 
beauty in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures 
of red and white, the expressions of every passion 
by greater or less suffusions of color in the one, prefer- 
able to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the 

Notes on Virginia ^93 

cotintenances, that immovable veil of black which 
covers the emotions of the other race? Add to 
these, flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, 
their own judgment in favor of the whites, declared 
by their preference of them, as uniformly as is the 
preference of the Oran-fltan for the black woman 
over those of his own species. The circumstance 
of superior beauty, is thought worthy attention in 
the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domes- 
tic animals; why not in that of man? Besides those 
of color, figure, and hair, there are other physical 
distinctions proving a difference of race. They 
have less hair on the face and body. They secrete 
less by the kidneys, and more by the glands of the 
skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable 
odor. This greater degree of transpiration, renders 
them more tolerant of heat, and less so of cold than 
the whites. Perhaps, too, a difference of structure 
in the pulmonary apparatus, which a late ingenious 
experimentalist' has discovered to be the principal 
regulator of animal heat, may have disabled them 
from extricating, in the act of inspiration, so much 
of that fluid from the outer air, or obliged them in 
expiration, to part with more of it. They seem to 
''equire less sleep. A black after hard labor through 
the day, will be induced by the slightest amusements 
^ sit up tUl midnight, or later, though knowing he 
iriust be out with the first dawn of the morning. 
^Tiey are at least as brave, and more adventuresome. 




Jefferson's Works 


But this may perhaps proceed from a want of fore- 
thought, which prevents their seeing a danger till it 
be present. When present, they do not go through 
it with more coolness or steadiness than the whites. 
They are more ardent after their female; but love 
seems with them to be more an eager desire, than a 
tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation. 
Their griefs are transient. Those numberless afflic- 
tions, which render it doubtful whether heaven has 
given life to us in mercy or in wrath, are less felt, and 
sooner forgotten with them. In general, their 
existence appears to participate more of sensation 
than reflection. To this must be ascribed their 
disposition to sleep when abstracted from their 
diversions, and unemployed in labor. An animal 
whose body is at rest, and who does not reflect 
must be disposed to sleep of course. Comparing 
them by their faculties of memory, reason, and im- 
agination, it appears to me that in memory they are 
equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I 
think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing 
and comprehending the investigations of Euclid; 
and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and 
anomalous. It would be unfair to follow them to 
Africa for this investigation. We will consider them 
here, on the same stage with the whites, and where 
the facts are not apocr>'phal on which a judgment 
is to be formed. It will be right to make great allow- 
ances for the difference of condition, of education, of 
conversation, of the sphere in which they move. 


Notes on Virginia i9S 

Many millions of them have been brought to, and 
bom in America, Most of them, indeed, have been 
confined to tillage, to their own homes, and their 
own society; yet many have been so sittiated, that 
they might have availed themselves of the conver- 
sation of their masters; many have been brought 
up to the handicraft arts, and from that circtmi- 
stance have always been associated with the whites. 
Some have been liberally educated, and all have 
lived in cotmtries where the arts and sciences are 
cultivated to a considerable degree, and all have 
had before their eyes samples of the best works from 
abroad. The Indians, with no advantages of this 
kind, will often carve figures on their pipes not desti- 
tute of design and merit. They will crayon out an 
animal, a plant, or a cotmtry, so as to prove the 
existence of a germ in their minds which only wants 
cultivation. They astonish you with strokes of the 
most sublime oratory; such as prove their reason 
and sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and 
elevated. But never yet could I find that a black 
had uttered a thought above the level of plain 
narration; never saw even an elementary trait of 
painting or sculpture. In music they are more 
generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears 
^or tune and time, and they have been found capable 
of imagining a small catch.* Whether they will be 

* The instrument proper to them is the Banjar, which they brought 
^ther from Africa, and which is the original of the guitar, its chords 
^^^bg precisely the four lower chords of the guitar. 

19* Jefferson's Works 

equal to the composition of a more extensive run of 
melody, or of complicated harmony, is yet to be 
proved. Misery is often the parent of the most 
affecting touches in poetry. Among the blacks is 
misery enough, God knows, but no poetry. Love 
is the peculiar cestrum of the poet. Their love is 
ardent, but it kindles the senses only, not the imagi- 
nation. Religion, indeed, has produced a Phyllis 
Whately; but it could not produce a poet. The 
compositions published under her name are below 
the dignity of criticism. The heroes of the Dunciad 
are to her, as Hercules to the author of that poem. 
Ignatius Sancho has approached nearer to merit in 
composition; yet his letters do more honor to the 
heart than the head. The}^ breathe the purest effu- 
sions of friendship and general philanthropy, and 
show how great a degi-ee of the latter may be com- 
pounded with strong religious zeal. He is often 
happy in the turn of his compliments, and his style 
is easy and familiar, except when he affects a Shan- 
dean fabrication of words. But his imagination 
is wild and extravagant, escapes incessantly from 
every restraint of reason and taste, and, in the 
course of its vagaries, leaves a tract of thought as 
incoherent and eccentric, as is the course of a meteor 
through the sky. His subjects should often have 
led him to a process of sober reasoning; yet we find 
him always substituting sentiment for demonstra- 
tion. Upon the whole, though we admit liim to the 
first place among those of his own color who have 

Notes on Virginia i97 

presented themselves to the public judgment, yet 
when we compare him with the writers of the race 
among whom he lived and particularly with the 
epistolary class in which he has taken his own stand, 
we are compelled to enrol him at the bottom of the 
column. This criticism supposes the letters pub- 
lished under his name to be genuine, and to have 
received amendment from no other hand; points 
which would not be of easy investigation. The im- 
provement of the blacks in body and mind, in the 
first instance of their mixture with the whites, has 
been observed by every one, and proves that their 
inferiority is not the effect merely of their condition 
of life. We know that among the Romans, about 
the Augustan age especially, the condition of their 
slaves was much more deplorable than that of the 
blacks on the continent of America. The two sexes 
were confined in separate apartments, because to 
raise a child cost the master more than to buy one. 
Cato, for a very restricted indulgence to his slaves 
in this particular,* took from them a certain price. 
But in this coimtry the slaves multiply as fast as 
the free inhabitants. Their situation and manners 
place the commerce between the two sexes almost 
without restraint. The same Cato, on a principle of 
economy, always sold his sick and superannuated 
slaves. He gives it as a standing precept to a master 
visiting his farm, to sell his old oxen, old wagons, 

' Tous douloiis etaxen drismenou nomesmatos homilein tais ther- 
8painsiii. — Plutazx;h. Cato. 

19* Jefferson's Works 

old tools, old and diseased servants, and everything 
else become useless. " Vendat boves vetulos, plaus- 
trum vetus, feranienta Vetera, servum senem, ser- 
vum morbosum, et si quid aliud sup>ersit vendat," 
Cato de re rustica. c. 2. The American slaves can- 
not enumerate this among the injuries and insults 
they receive. It was the common practice to expose 
in the island .^culapius, in the Tyber, diseased 
slaves whose cure was like to become tedious,' The 
emperor Claudius, by an edict, gave freedom to such 
of them as should recover, and first declared that if 
any person chose to kill rather than to expose them, 
it should not be deemed homicide. The exposing 
them is a crime of which no instance has existed 
with us; and were it to be followed by death, it 
would be punished capitally. We are told of a cer- 
tain Vedius Pollio, who. in the presence of Augustus, 
would have given a slave as food to his fish, for hav- 
ing broken a glass. With the Romans, the regular 
method of taking the evidence of their slaves was 
under torture. Here it has been thought better 
never to resort to their evidence. When a master 
was murdered, all his slaves, in the same house, or 
within hearing, were condemned to death. Here 
punishment falls on the guilty only, and as precise 
proof is required against him as against a freeman. 
Yet notwithstanding these and other discouraging 
circumstances among the Romans, their slaves were 
often their rarest artists. They excelled too in 

' Suet. Claud. 35. 

Notes on Virginia 199 

science, insomuch as to be usually employed as 
tutors to their master's children. Epictetus, Ter- 
ence, and Phaedrus, were slaves. But they were 
of the race of whites. It is not their condition then, 
but nature, which has produced the distinction. 
Whether further observation will or will not verify 
the conjecture, that nature has been less bountiful 
to them in the endowments of the head, I believe 
that in those of the heart she will be found to have 
done them justice. That disposition to theft with 
which they have been branded, must be ascribed 
to their situation, and not to any depravity of the 
moral sense. The man in whose favor no laws of 
property exist, probably feels himself less bound to 
respect those made in favor of others. When argu- 
ing for ourselves, we lay it down as a fundamental, 
that laws, to be just, must give a reciprocation of 
right; that, without this, they are mere arbitrary 
rules of conduct, founded in force, and not in con- 
science; and it is a problem which I give to the mas- 
ter to solve, whether the religious precepts against 
the violation of property were not framed for him 
as well as his slave? And whether the slave may 
not as justifiably take a little from one who has taken 
all from him, as he may slay one who would slay 
him? That a change in the relations in which a 
man is placed should change his ideas of moral right 
or wrong, is neither new, nor peculiar to the color 
of the blacks. Homer tells us it was so two thou- 
sand six hundred years ago. 

Jefferson's Works 

'Emisu, ger t' aretes apoainutai ^uniopa Zeus 

Haneros. cut' an min kata doulion etna, elesin. 


Jove fix'd it certain, that whatever day 
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away. 

But the slaves of which Homer speaks were whites.1 

Notwithstanding these considerations which must I 
weaken their respect for the laws of property, we fmdl 
among them numerous instances of the most rigid! 
integrity, and as many as among their better in-i 
structed masters, of benevolence, gratitude, and'l 
unshaken fidelity. The opinion that they are in- 
ferior in the faculties of reason and imagination.^ 
must be hazarded with great diffidence. To justify! 
a general conclusion, requires many observations,! 
even where the subject may be submitted to ihgm 
anatomical knife, to optical glasses, to analysis by 
fire or by solvents. How much more then whereS 
it is a faculty, not a substance, we are examining;! 
where it eludes the research of all the senses ; whei 
the conditions of its existence are various and ' 
variously combined; where the effects of those 
which are present or absent bid defiance to calcula- 
tion; let me add too, as a circumstance of < 
tenderness, where our conclusion would i 
whole race of men from the rank in the scale ( 
beings which their Creator may perhaps have giva 
them. To our reproach it must be said, 
though for a century and a half we have had unda 
our eyes the races of black and of red men, they havi 

Notes on Virginia 201 

never yet been viewed by us as subjects of natural 
history. I advance it, therefore, as a suspicion only, 
that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, 
or made distinct by time and circimistances, are 
inferior to the whites in the endowments both of 
body and mind. It is not against experience to 
suppose that different species of the same genus, or 
varieties of the same species, may possess different 
qualifications. Will not a lover of natural history 
then, one who views the gradations in all the races 
of animals with the eye of philosophy, excuse an 
effort to keep those in the department of man as 
distinct as nature has formed them? This vmfortu- 
nate difference of color, and perhaps of faculty, is a 
powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these 
people. Many of their advocates, while they wish 
to vindicate the liberty of htmian nature, are anx- 
ious also to preserve its dignity and beauty. Some 
of these, embarrassed by the question, " What fur- 
ther is to be done with them?*' join themselves in 
opposition with those who are actuated by sordid 
avarice only. Among the Romans emancipation 
required but one effort. The slave, when made free, 
might mix with, without staining the blood of his 
master. But with us a second is necessary, un- 
known to history. When freed, he is to be removed 
beyond the reach of mixture. 

The revised code f tuther proposes to proportion 
crimes and punishments. This is attempted on the 
following scale: 

Jefferson's Works 

Dvath by hajieingr 

Forfeiture of landi and ^oods to tbe cofnin 
. DcBthbyhansing. Dissection. 

Porfdtun u( half the landi and goodi to 
of the p«rt¥ >lain. 
^y poison. Death by poison. 

Porfeituic ol one-half, as before 
[nduel. Death by hantting. CibbetinE. if thechatkninr. 

Forfeiture of one-half as twfore, unless it ' --■ 
party chiJIenged. then the fnrfdtu™ i< 

Sodomy . . . / "'™»™ 
,. Maiming . . i Betalial 
. Dinfiguring.J the bu 

he forfdtun of half of the lands and goods M 
^Il.yearsforlhepubtic. Porteilure of h»tf. 


\. Asportation of vr 

i, Boislary. 
r. House-bresidng. 
1. none-stealing. 
). Giand larceny. 
1. Petty Urceny. 

14- Apostasy, lien 

ney. Labor VI. yrairs 

} Labor IV. ynn 
I Ubor III. yean 
Labor II . yean 

Reparalion double. 



Rcparatton , raiory. 

Pardon and privilege of clerg>- are proposed to be 
abolished ; but if the verdict be against the defend- 
ant, the court in their discretion may allow a new 
trial. No attainder to cause a corruption of blood,* 
or forfeiture of dower. Slaves guilty of offencefta 
punishable in others by labor, to be transported to 
Africa, or elsewhere, as the circumstances of the 
time admit, there to be continued in slavery. A 
rigorous regimen proposed for those < 

)se condemned tO^H 

Notes on Virginia 203 

Another object of the revisal is to diffuse knowl- 
edge more generally through the mass of the people. 
This bill proposes to lay off every cotmty into small 
districts of five or six miles square, called htmdreds, 
and in each of them to establish a school for teach- 
ing, reading, writing, and arithmetic. The tutor to 
be supported by the hundred, and every person in 
it entitled to send their children three years gratis, 
and as much longer as they please, paying for it. 
These schools to be under a visitor who is annually 
to choose the boy of best genius in the school, of 
those whose parents are too poor to give them 
further education, and to send him forward to one of 
the grammar schools, of which twenty are proposed 
to be erected in different parts of the country, for 
teaching Greek, Latin, Geography, and the higher 
branches of numerical arithmetic. Of the boys thus 
sent in one year, trial is to be made at the grammar 
schools one or two years, and the best genius of the 
whole selected, and continued six years, and the 
residue dismissed. By this means twenty of the 
best geniuses will be raked from the rubbish annually, 
and be instructed, at the public expense, so far as 
the grammar schools go. At the end of six years' 
instruction, one half are to be discontinued (from 
among whom the grammar schools will probably be 
supplied with future masters) ; and the other half, 
who are to be chosen for the superiority of their 
parts and disposition, are to be sent and continued 
three years in the study of such sciences as they shall 

Jefferson's Works 

choose, at William and Marj' college, the plan of'' 
which is proposed to be enlarged, as will be hereafter 
explained, and extended to all the useftil sciences. 
The ultimate result of the whole scheme of education 
would be the teaching all the children of the State' 
reading, writing, and common arithmetic; tumii^' 
out ten annually, of superior genius, well taught in 
Greek, Latin, Geography, and the higher branches 
of arithmetic; turning out ten others annually, of 
still superior parts, who, to those branches of learn- 
ing, shall have added such of the sciences as their 
genius shall have led them to; the fumisliing to 
the wealthier part of the people convenient schools 
at which their children may be educated at theit 
own expense. The general objects of this law are, 
to provide an education adapted to the years, 
the capacity, and the condition of every one, i 
directed to their freedom and happiness. Speci: 
details were not proper for the law. These must be 
the business of the visitors entrusted with its execu- 
tion. The first stage of this education being the 
schools of the hundreds, wherein the great mass of 
the people will receive their instruction, the principal 
foundations of future order will be laid here. In-3 
stead, therefore, of putting the Bible and Testari| 
ment into the hands of the children at an age when 
their judgments are not sufficiently matured for 
religious inquiries, their memories may here be stored 
with the most useful facts from Grecian, Roman, 
European and American history. The first elemenl 


Notes on Virginia ^05 

of morality too may be instilled into their minds; 
such as, when further developed as their judgments 
advance in strength, may teach them how to work 
out their own greatest happiness, by showing them 
that it does not depend on the condition of life in 
which chance has placed them, but is always the 
result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, 
and freedom in all just pursuits. Those whom 
either the wealth of their parents or the adoption of 
the State shall destine to higher degrees of learning, 
will go on to the grammar schools, which constitute 
the next stage, there to be instructed in the lan- 
guages. The learning Greek and Latin, I am told, is 
going into disuse in Europe. I know not what their 
manners and occupations may call for ; but it would 
be very ill-judged in us to follow their example in 
this instance. There is a certain period of life, say 
from eight to fifteen or sixteen years of age, when 
the mind like the body is not yet firm enough for 
laborious and close operations. If applied to such, 
it falls an early victim to premature exertion; ex- 
hibiting, indeed, at first, in these yoimg and tender 
subjects, the flattering appearance of their being 
men while they are yet children, but ending in 
reducing them to be children when they should 
be men. The memory is then most susceptible 
and tenacious of impressions; and the learning of 
langu£^es being chiefly a work of memory, it seems 
precisely fitted to the powers of this period, which is 
long enough, too, for acquiring the most useful Ian- 


Jefferson's Works 

guages, ancient and modem. I do not pretend that? 
language is science. It is only an instrument f( 
the attainment of science. But that time is not lostj 
which is employed in providing tools for future oper-' 
ration ; more especially as in this case the books put 
into the hands of the youth for this purpose may be 
such as will at the same time impress their minds 
with useful facts and good principles. If this period 
be suffered to pass in idleness, the mind becomes 
lethargic and impotent, as would the body it inhabits 
if unexercised during the same time. The sjTnpathy 
between body and mind during their rise, progress 
and decline, is too strict and obvious to endangw 
our being missed while we reason from the one 
the other. As soon as they are of sufficient age, 
is supposed they will be sent on from the grammar 
schools to the university, which constitutes our 
third and last stage, there to study those sciences 
which may be adapted to their views. By that f>art 
of our plan which prescribes the selection of the 
youths of genius from among the classes of the poor, 
we hope to avail the State of those talents which 
nature has sown as liberally among the poor as the 
rich, but which perish without use, if not sought iar; 
and cultivated. But of the views of this law none 
is more important, none more legitimate, than that 
of rendering the people the safe, as they are the 
ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this 
purpose the reading in the first stage, where they 
receive their whole education, 


Notes on Virginia 207 

been said, to be chiefly historical. History, by 
apprizing them of the past, will enable them to 
judge of the future; it will avail them of the experi- 
ence of other times and other nations ; it will qualify 
them as judges of the actions and designs of men; 
it will enable them to know ambition under every 
disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat 
its views. In every government on earth is some 
trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption 
and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and 
wickedness insensibly open, cultivate and improve. 
Every government degenerates when trusted to 
the rulers of the people alqne. The people them- 
selves therefore are its only safe depositories. And 
to render even them safe, their minds must be im- 
proved to a certain degree. This indeed is not all 
that is necessary, though it be essentially necessary. 
An amendment of our constitution must here come 
in aid of the public education. The influence over 
government must be shared among all the people. 
If every individual which composes their mass par- 
ticipates of the ultimate authority, the government 
will be safe ; because the corrupting the whole mass 
will exceed any private resotu-ces of wealth; and 
public ones cannot be provided but by levies on the 
people. . In this case every man would have to pay 
his own price. The government of Great Britain 
has been corrupted, because but one man in ten has 
a right to vote for members of parliament. The 
sellers of the government, therefore, get nine-tenths 


Jefferson's Works 

of their price clear. It has been thought that cor- 
ruption is restrained by confining the right of suffrage 
to a few of the wealthier of the people ; but it would 
be more effectually restrained by an extension of 
that right to such members as would bid defiance to 
the means of corruption. 

Lastly, it is proposed, by a bUl in this revisal, to 
begin a public library and gallery, by laying out a 
certain sum annually in books, paintings, and statues. 


The Colleges and Public Establishmenls, the Roads, 
Buildings, &c. 
The college of William and Mary is the only public 
seminary of learning in this State. It was founded 
in the time of king William and queen Mar\-, who 
granted to it twenty thoui^and acres of land, and a 
penny a pound duty on certain tobaccoes exported 
from Virginia and Mai"yland, which had been levied 
by the statute of 25 Car. II. The assembly also 
gave it, by temporary laws, a duty on liquors im- 
ported, and skins and furs exported. From these 
resources it received upwards of three thousand 
pounds communibus annis. The buildings are of 
brick, sufficient for an indifferent accommodation 
of perhaps an hundred students. By its charter it 
was to be under the government of twenty visitors. 
who were to be its legislators, and to have a presi- 
dent and six professors, who were incorporated. It 

Notes on Virginia 209 

was allowed a representative in the general assem- 
bly. Under this charter, a professorship of the Greek 
and Latin languages, a professorship of mathematics, 
one of moral philosophy, and two of divinity, were 
established. To these were annexed, for a sixth 
professorship, a considerable donation by Mr. Boyle, 
of England, for the instruction of the Indians, and 
"their conversion to Christianity. This was called 
^he professorship of Brafferton, from an estate of 
^hat name in England, purchased with the monies 
^ven. The admission of the learners of Latin and 
<jreek filled the college with children. This render- 
ing it disagreeable and degrading to yotmg gentlemen 
.already prepared for entering on the sciences, they 
^^vere discouraged from resorting to it, and thus the 
^schools for mathematics and moral philosophy, 
^^hich might have been of some service, became of 
^%^ery little. The revenues, too, were exhausted in 
^accommodating those who came only to acquire the 
idiments of science. After the present revolution, 
;he visitors, having no power to change those circum- 
stances in the constitution of the college which were 
"^fixed by the charter, and being therefore confined 
:iai the number of the professorships, undertook to 
^i^hange the objects of the professorships. They 
^^xcluded the two schools for divinity, and that for 
"tlie Greek and Latin languages, and substituted 
►thers ; so that at present they stand thus : 
A Professorship for Law and Police ; 
Anatomy and Medicine; 

VOL. II — 14 


JeHerson's Works 

A Natural Philosophy and Mathenaatics 

Moral Philosophy, the Law of Nature and 

Nations, the Fine Arts; 
Modem Languages; 
For the Brafferton. 
And it is proposed, so soon as the legislature si 
have leisure to take up this subject, to desire author- 
ity from them to increase the number of jjrofessor- 
ships, as well for the purpose of subdividing those 
already instituted, as of adding others for other 
branches of science. To the professorships usually 
established in the universities of Europe, it would 
seem proper to add one for the ancient languages and 
literature of the north, on account of their connec- 
tion with our own language, laws, customs, and his- 
tory. The purposes of the Brafferton institution 
would be better answered by maintaining a perpet- 
ual mission among the Indian tribes, the object of 
which, besides instructing them in the principles of 
Christianity, as the founder requires, should be to 
collect their traditions, laws, ctistoms, languages, 
and other circumstances which might lead to a dis- 
covery of their relation with one another, or descent 
from other nations. When these objects are ac- 
complished with one tribe, the missionary might 
pass on to another. 

The roads are under the government of the county 
courts, subject to be controlled by the general court. 
They order new roads to be opened wherever they 
think them necessary. The inhabitants of the 

Notes on Virginia ^ii 

cotinty are by them laid off into precincts, to each of 
which they allot a convenient portion of the public 
roads to be kept in repair. Such bridges as may be 
built without the assistance of artificers, they are 
to build. If the stream be such as to require a bridge 
of regular workmanship, the court employs workmen 
to build it, at the expense of the whole county. If it 
be too great for the county, application is made to 
the general assembly, who authorize individuals 
to btiild it, and to take a fixed toll from all passen- 
gers, or give sanction to such other proposition as to 
them appears reasonable. 

Ferries are admitted only at such places as are 
{particularly pointed out by law, and the rates of 
ferriage are fixed. 

Taverns are licensed by the coiuts, who fix their 
rates from time to time. 

The private buildings are very rarely constructed 
of stone or brick, much the greatest portion being of 
scantling and boards, plastered with lime. It is 
impossible to devise things more ugly, uncomfort- 
able, and happrily more perishable. There are two 
or three plans, on one of which, according to its 
size, most of the houses in the State are built. The 
poorest people build huts of logs, laid horizontally 
in pens, stopping the interstices with mud. These 
are warmer in winter, and cooler in summer, than 
the more expensive construction of scantling and 
plank. The wealthy are attentive to the raising of 
vegetables, but very little so to fniits. The poorer 

Jefferson's Works 

people attend to neither, living principally on milk 
and animal diet. This is the more inexcusable, as 
the climate requires indispensably a free use of 
vegetable food, for health as well as comfort, and is 
very friendly to the raising of fruits. The only pub- 
lic buildings worthy of mention are the capitol, the 
palace, the college, and the hospital for lunatics, 
all of them in Williamsburg, heretofore the seat of 
our government. The capitol is a light and air;- 
structure, with a portico in front of two orders, the 
lower of which, being Doric, is tolerably just in its 
proportions and ornaments, save only that the inter- 
colonations are too large. The upper is Ionic, much 
too small for that on which it is mounted, its orna- 
ments not proper to the order, nor proportioned 
within themselves. It is crowned with a pediment, 
which is too high for its span. Yet, on the whole, 
it is the most pleasing piece of architecture we have. 
The palace is not handsome without, but it is spa- 
cious and commodious within, is prettily situated, 
and with the grounds annexed to it, is capable of 
being made an elegant seat. The college and hos- 
pital are rude, misshapen piles, which, but that they 
have roofs, would be taken for brick-kilns. There 
are no other public buildings but churches and court- 
houses, in which no attempts are made at elegance. 
Indeed, it would not be easy to execute such an at- 
tempt, as a workman could scarcely be found capa- 
ble of drawing an order. The genius of architecture 
seems to have shed its maledictions over this land. 

Notes on Virginia 213 

Btiildings are often erected, by individuals, of consid- 
erable expense. To give these symmetry and taste, 
would not increase their cost. It would only change 
the arrangement of the materials, the form and com- 
bination of the members. This would often cost 
less than the burthen of barbarous ornaments with 
which these buildings are sometimes charged. But 
the first principles of the art are unknown, and there 
exists scarcely a model among us sufficiently chaste 
to give an idea of them. Architectiu-e being one of 
the fine arts, and as such within the department of a 
professor of the college, according to the new arrange- 
ment, perhaps a spark may fall on some young sub- 
jects of natural taste, kindle up their genius, and pro- 
duce a reformation in this elegant and useful art. 
But all we shall do in this way will produce no per- 
manent improvement to oiu* country, while the 
unhappy prejudice prevails that houses of brick or 
stone are less wholesome than those of wood. A dew 
is often observed on the walls of the former in rainy 
^weather, and the most obvious solution is, that the 
rain has penetrated through these walls. The fol- 
lowing facts, however, are sufficient to prove the 
error of this solution: i. This dew upon the walls 
appears when there is no rain, if the state of the 
atmosphere be moist. 2. It appears upon the par- 
tition as well as the exterior walls. 3. So, also, on 
pavements of brick or stone. 4. It is more copious 
in proportion as the walls are thicker ; the reverse of 
^hich ought to be the case, if this hypothesis were 

314 Jefferson's Works 

just. If cold water be poured into a vessel of stone, 
or glass, a dew forms instantly on the outside; but 
if it be poured into a vessel of wood, there is no such 
appearance. It is not supposed, in the first case, 
that the water has exuded through the glass, but 
that it is precipitated from the circumambient air; 
as the humid particles of vapor, passing from the 
boiler of an alembic through its refrigerant, are pre- 
cipitated from the air, in which they are suspended. 
on the internal surface of the refrigerant. Walls of 
brick and stone act as the refrigerant in this instance. 
They are sufficiently cold to condense and precipitate 
the moisture suspended in the air of the room, when 
it is heavily charged therewith. But walls of wood 
are not so. The question then is, whether the air in 
which this moisture is left floating, or that which is 
deprived of it, be most wholesome? In both cases 
the remedy is easy. A little fire kindled in the room, 
whenever the air is damp, prevents the precipitation 
on the walls ; and this practice, found healthy in the 
warmest as well as coldest seasons, is as necessary in 
a wooden as in a stone or brick house. I do not mean 
to say that the rain never penetrates through walls 
of brick. On the contrary, I have seen instances 
of it. But with us it is only through the northern 
and eastern walls of the house, after a north- 
easterly storm, this being the only one which con- 
tinues long enough to force through the walls. This, 
however, happens too rarely to give a just character 
of unwholesomeness to such houses. In a house, the 

Notes on Virginia 215 

walls of which are of well-burnt brick and good mor- 
tar, I have seen the rain penetrate through but twice 
in a dozen or fifteen years. The inhabitants of 
Europe, who dwell chiefly in houses of stone or brick, 
are surely as healthy as those of Virginia. These 
liouses have the advantage, too, of being warmer in 
lyinter and cooler in summer than those of wood; 
of being cheaper in their first construction, where 
lime is convenient, and infinitely more durable. The 
latter consideration renders it of great importance 
"to eradicate this prejudice from the minds of our 
<x)untrymen. A country whose buildings are of 
"wood, can never increase in its improvements to any 
<x)nsiderable degree. Their duration is highly esti- 
xnated at fifty years. Every half century then our 
<x)untry becomes a tabula rasa^ whereon we have to 
set out anew, as in the first moment of seating it. 
AVhereas when buildings are of durable materials, 
^very new edifice is an actual and permanent acquisi- 
tion to the State, adding to its value as well as to its 


The measures taken with regard to the estates and 
possessions of the Rebels ^ commonly called Tories f 

A tory has been properly defined to be a traitor in 
thought but not in deed. The only description, by 
which the laws have endeavored to come at them, 

was that of non-jurprs, or persons refusing to take 


2i6 Jefferson's Works 

the oath of fidelity to the State. Persons of this 
description were at one time subjected to double 
taxation, at another to treble, and lastly were al- 
lowed retribution, and placed on a level with good 
citizens. It may be mentioned as a proof, both of 
the lenity of our government, and unanimity of its 
inhabitants, that though this war has now raged 
near seven years, not a single execution for treason 
has taken place. 

Under this query I will state the measures which 
have been adopted as to British property, the own- 
ers of which stand on a much fairer footing than the 
tories. By our laws, the same as the English as in 
this respect, no alien can hold lands, nor alien enemy 
maintain an action for money, or other movable 
thing. Lands acquired or held by aliens become 
forfeited to the State; and, on an action by an 
alien enemy to recover money, or other movable 
property, the defendant may plead that he is an 
alien enemy. This extinguishes his right in the 
hands of the debtor or holder of his movable prop- 
erty. By our separation from Great Britain, Brit- 
ish subjects became aliens, and being at war, they 
were alien enemies. Their lands were of course for-!* 
feited, and their debts irrecoverable. The asseiiM 
bly, however, passed laws at various times, for sav- 
ing their property. They first sequestered their 
lands, slaves, and other property on their farms in 
the hands of commissioners, who were mostly the 
confidential friends or agents of the owners, and 


Notes on Virginia 217 

directed their clear profits to be paid into the treas- 
ury ; and they gave leave to all persons owing debts 
to British subjects to pay them also into the treas- 
ury. The monies so to be brought in were declared 
to remain the property of the British subject, and 
if used by the State, were to be repaid, unless an 
improper conduct in Great Britain should render a 
detention of it reasonable. Depreciation had at 
that time, though tmacknowledged and unperceived 
by the whigs, begim in some small degree. Grreat 
sums of money were paid in by debtors. At a later 
period, the assembly, adhering to the political prin- 
ciples which forbid an alien to hold lands in the 
State, ordered all British property to be sold; and, 
become sensible of the real progress of depreciation, 
and of the losses which would thence occur, if not 
guarded against, they ordered that the proceeds of the 
sales should be converted into their then worth in 
tobacco, subject to the future direction of the legis- 
lature. This act has left the question of retribution 
move problematical. In May, 1780, another act 
^took away the permission to pay into the public 
treasury debts due to British subjects. 


The different religions received into that State? 

The first settlers in this country were emigrants 
<rom England, of the English Church, just at a point 
of time when it was flushed with complete victory 

Jefferson's Works 

over the religious of all other persuasions. Pos- 
sessed, as they became, of the powers of making, 
administering, and executing the laws, they showed 
equal intolerance in this country with their Presby- 
terian brethren, who had emigrated to the northern 
government. The poor Quakers were flying from 
persecution in England. They cast their eyes on 
these new coimtries as asylums of civil and religious 
freedom; but they found them free only for the 
reigning sect. Several acts of the Virginia assembly 
of 1659, 1662, and 1693, had made it penal in parents 
to refuse to have their children baptized; had pro- 
hibited the unlawftil assembling of Quakers; had 
made it penal for any master of a vessel to bring a 
Quaker into the State; had ordered those already 
here, and such as should come thereafter, to be im- 
prisoned till they should abjure the country; pro- 
vided a milder punishment for their first and second 
return, but death for their third; had inhibited all 
persons from suffering their meetings in or near 
their houses, entertaining them individually, or 
disposing of books which supported their tenets. 
If no execution took place here, as did in New Eng- 
land, it was not owing to the moderation of the 
church, or spirit of the legislature, as may be inferred 
from the law itself; but to historical circumstances 
which have not been handed down to us. The An- 
glicans retained full possession of the country aliout 
a century. Other opinions began then to creep in, 
and the great care of the government to support their , 

Notes on Virginia 219 

own church, having begotten an equal degree of 
indolence in its clergy, two-thirds of the people had 
become dissenters at the commencement of the 
present revolution. The laws, indeed, were still 
oppressive on them, but the spirit of the one party 
had subsided into moderation, and of the other had 
risen to a degree of determination which commanded ' 

le present state of our laws on the subject of 
religion is this. The convention of May 1 7 76, in their 
declaration of rights, declared it to be a truth, and 
a natural right, that the exercise of religion should 
be free; but when they proceeded to form on that 
declaration the ordinance of government, instead 
of taking up every principle declared in the bill of 
rights, and guarding it by legislative sanction, they 
passed over that which asserted our religious rights, 
leaving them as they found them. The same con- 
vention, however, when they met as a member of the 
general assembly in October, 1776, repealed all acts 
of Parliament which had rendered criminal the main- 
taining any opinions in matters of religion, the for- 
bearing to repair to church, and the exercising any 
mode of worship; and suspended the laws giving 
salaries to the clergy, which suspension was made 
perpetual in October, 1779. Statutory oppressions 
in religion being thus wiped away, we remain at 
present under those only imposed by the common 
law, or by our own acts of assembly. ' At the com- 
mon law, heresy was a capital offence, punishable 

220 Jefferson's Works 

by burning. Its definition was left to the eccle- 
siastical judges, before whom the conviction was, till 
the statute of the i El. c. i circumscribed it, by de- 
claring, that nothing should be deemed heresy, but 
what had been so determined by authority of the 
canonical scriptures, or by one of the four first gen- 
eral councils, or by other council, having for the 
grounds of their declaration the express and plain 
words of the scriptures. Heresy, thus circumscribed, 
being an offence against the common law, our act of 
assembly of October 1777, c. 17, gives cognizance of it 
to the general court, by declaring that the jurisdic- 
tion of that court shall be general in all matters at 
the common law. The execution is by the writ De 
hcnretico comburendo. By our own act of assembly 
of 1 705, c. 30, if a person brought up in the Christian 
religion denies the being of a God, or the Trinity, or 
asserts there are more gods than one, or denies the 
Christian religion to be true, or the scriptures to be 
of divine authority, he is punishable on the first 
offence by incapacity to hold any office or employ- 
ment ecclesiastical, civil, or military; on the second 
by disability to sue, to take any gift or legacy, to be 
guardian, executor, or administrator, and by three 
years' imprisonment without bail. A father's right 
to the custody of his own children being founded 
in law on his right of guardianship, this being taken 
away, they may of course be severed from him, and 
put by the authority of a court into more orthodox 
hands. This is a. summary view of that religious 


Notes on Virginia ^^i 

slavery under which a people have been willing to 
remain, who have lavished their lives and fortunes 
for the establishment of their civil freedom. The 
error* seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the 
operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the 
body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But 
our rulers can have no authority over such natural 
rights, only as we have submitted to them. The 
rights of conscience we never submitted, we crnild 
not submit. We are answerable for them U) rmr 
God. The legitimate powers of government extend 
to such acts only as are injurious to r/thers. But it 
does me no injiuy for my neighbor to say there arc 
twenty gods, or no God. It neither j^cks my j xx'ket 
nor breaks my leg. If it be said, his testinv/ny in 
a court of justice cannot be relied on, rcj^^ct it tbim^ 
and be the stigma on him. Constraint may tnake 
him worse by making him a hyprx:riif% f/ut it will 
never make him a truer man. It may ftx him of/- 
stinately in his errors, but will wA cttre th^rrn, K/ra- 
son and free inquiry are the only «f-f?/:)Ct«At ajffttrt* 
against error. Give a Wjejt Xf* th/rm, fi^r/ will imp- 
port the true r^d%ioa by brir.j^rr;;^ ^/^y f^:^ ^Kye 
to their tnbcn^ to tfce teat ^A tfi^w ir}rV^:^ti^A//r.. 
Thcv are the natttral erj^^nrJie^ ^4 ^r^/r, i%xA ^4 ^r^/r 
only. Had ox the jfov'rrr^rr>rrv* ^y^rrrrri-t^/irf 
free icqarry, Chr^a^^.r:/ cr/^;>I r^r/"*t' r^-/^ ''/^^^i. 
mtrcfdacetL Ha*! rx.n fr^?^ :r^'i;r / 'r'y^ji'ir. :^r.4':;i^*^ 
at the era -cf tEe Btefr>rrr.a:tu'>r., ti-^i^ ^/^rrr/Ajcx.^ ^4 

aaa Jefferson's Works 

Christianity could not have been purged away. If 
it be restrained now, the present corruptions will 
be protected, and new ones encouraged. Was the 
government to prescribe to us our medicine and 
diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our 
souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once 
forbidden as a medicine, and the potato as an article 
of food. Government is just as infallible, too, when 
it fixes systems in physics, Galileo was sent to the 
Inquisition for affirming that the earth was a sphere; 
the government had declared it to be as flat as a 
trencher, and Galileo was obliged to abjure his error. 
This error, however, at length prevailed, the earth 
became a globe, and Descartes declared it was 
whirled round its axis by a vortex. The govern- 
ment in which he lived was wise enough to see that 
this was no question of civil jurisdiction, or we 
should all have been involved by authority in vor- 
tices. In fact, the vortices have been exploded. 
and the Newtonian principle of gravitation is now 
more firmly established, on the basis of reason, 
than it would be were the government to step 
in. and to make it an article of necessary faith. 
Reason and experiment have been indulged, and 
error has fied before them . It is error alone 
which needs the support of government. Truth 
can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion : 
whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible 
men; men governed by bad pa,ssions, by private 
as well as public reasons. And why subject it to 

Notes on Virginia 225 

coercion? To produce uniformity. But is unif ormlliy 
of opinion desirable? No more than of face and 
stature. Introduce the bed of Procrustes then, and 
as there is danger that the large men may beat the 
small, make us all of a size, by lopping the former 
and stretching the latter. Difference of opinion is 
advantageous in religion. The several sects per- 
form the office of a censor morum over such other. 
Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, 
women, and children, since the introduction of 
Christianity, have been btmit, tortured, fined, 
imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch 
towards uniformity. What has been the effect of 
coercion ? To make one half the world fools, and the 
other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error 
all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhab- 
ited by a thousand millions of people. That these 
profess probably a thousand different systems of 
religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. 
That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we 
should wish to see the nine hundred and ninety-nine 
wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But 
against such a majority we cannot effect this by 
force. Reason and persuasion are the only prac- 
ticable instruments. To make way for these, free 
inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish 
others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves. But 
every State, says an inquisitor, has established some 
religion. No two, say I, have established the same. 
Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments? 

^ 222 / Jefferson's Works 

* ""•"^Our sister States of Pennsylvania and New York, 
however, have long subsisted without any estab- 
lishment at all. The experiment was new and 
doubtful when they made it. It has answered 
beyond conception. They flourish infinitely. Re- 
ligion is well supported; of various kinds, indeed, 
but all good enough ; all sufficient to preserve peace 
and order; or if a sect arises, whose tenets would 
subvert morals, good sense has fair play, and reasons 
and laughs it out of doors, without suffering the 
State to be troubled with it. They do not hang 
more malefactors than we do. They are not more 
disturbed with religious dissensions. On the con- 
trary, their harmony is unparalleled, and can be 
ascribed to nothing but their imbounded tolerance, 
because there is no other circumstance in which 
they differ from every nation on earth. They have 
made the happy discovery, that the way to silence 
religious disputes, is to take no notice of them. Let 
us too give this experiment fair play, and get rid, 
while we may, of those tyrannical laws. It is true, 
we are as yet secured against them by the spirit of 
the times. I doubt whether the people of this coun- 
try would suffer an execution for heresy, or a three 
years' imprisonment for not comprehending the 
mysteries of the Trinity. . But is the spirit of the 
people an infallible, a permanent reliance? Is it 
government? Is this the kind of protection we 
receive in return for the rights we give up ? Besides, 
the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our 

Notes on Virginia 225 

rtilers will become cx)rrupt, our people careless. A 
single zealot may commence persecutor, and better 
men be his victims. It can never be too often re- 
peated, that the time for fixing every essential right 
on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and 
otirselves united. From the conclusion of this war 
we shall be going down hill. It will not then be 
necessary to resort every moment to the people 
for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, 
and their rights disregarded. They will forget them- 
selves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and 
will never think of uniting to effect a due respect 
for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which 
shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this 
war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier 
and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in 
a convulsion. 


The particular customs and manners that may happen 

to be received in that State ? 

It is difficult to determine on the standard by 
which the manners of a nation may be tried, whether 
catholic or particular. It is more difficult for a 
native to bring to that standard the manners of his 
own nation, familiarized to him by habit. There 
must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the 
manners of our people produced by the existence 
of slavery among us. The whole commerce be- 

TOL. II — 15 

9a6 Jefferson's Works 

tween master and slave is a perpetual exercise of 
the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting 
despotism on the one part, and degrading submis- 
sions on the other. Our children see this, and 
learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. 
This quality is the germ of all education in him. 
From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do 
what he sees others do. If a parent could find no 
motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, 
for restraining the intem])erance of passion towards 
his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that 
his child is present. But generally it is not suffi- 
cient. The parent storms, the child looks on, 
catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same 
airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to 
the worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, 
and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be 
stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man 
must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and 
morals undepraved by such circumstances. And 
with what execration should the statesman be 
loaded, who, permitting one half the citizens thus 
to trample on the rights of the other, transforms 
those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys 
the morals of the one part, and the amor patrite of 
the other. For if a slave can have a country in this 
world, it must be any other in preference to that 
in which he is bom to live and labor for another; in 
which he must lock up the faculties of his nature 
contribute as far as depends on his individual eat- 

*■■ - 

Notes on Virginia 227 

deavors to the evanishment of the human race, or 
entail his own miserable condition on the endless 
generations proceeding from him. With the morals 
of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For 
in a warm climate, no man will labor for himself 
who can make another labor for him. This is so 
true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small 
proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can 
the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we 
have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in 
the minds of the people that these liberties are of 
the gift of Gk)d? That they are not to be violated 
but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my 
cotintry when I reflect that Gk)d is just; that his 
justice cannot sleep forever; that considering num- 
bers, nature and natural means only, a revolution 
of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is 
among possible events; that it may become prob- 
able by supernatural interference! The Almighty 
has no attribute which can take side with us in such 
a contest. But it is impossible to be temperate and 
to pursue this subject through the various consider- 
ations of policy, of morals, of history natural and 
civil. We must be contented to hope they will 
force their way into every one's mind. I think a 
change already perceptible, since the origin of the 
present revolution. The spirit of the master is 
abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his 
condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, 
under the auspices of heaven, for a total emancipa- 


228 Jefferson's Works 

tion, and that this is disposed, in the order of events, 
to be with the consent of the masters, rather than 
by their extirpation. 


The present state of manufactures ^ commerce^ interior 

and exterior trade? 

We never had an interior trade of any importance. 
Our exterior commerce has suffered very much from 
the beginning of the present contest. During this 
time we have manufactured within otir families the 
most necessary articles of clothing. Those of cotton 
will bear some comparison with the same kinds of 
manufacture in Etirope; but those of wool, flax 
and hemp are very coarse, unsightly, and unpleas- 
ant; and such is otir attachment to agriculture, 
and such our preference for foreign manufactures, 
that be it wise or unwise, otir people will certainly 
return as soon as they can, to the raising raw mate- 
rials, and exchanging them for finer manufactures 
than they are able to execute themselves. 

The political economists of Europe have estab- 
lished it as a principle, that every State shoul(3 
endeavor to manufacture for itself; and this prin- 
ciple, like many others, we transfer to America^ 
without calculating the difference of circumstance 
which should often produce a difference of result. 
In Europe the lands are either cultivated, or locked 

Notes on Virginia 229 

up against the cultivator. Mantifacture must there- 
fore be resorted to of necessity not of choice, to sup- 
port the surplus of their people. But we have an 
immensity of land courting the industry of the 
husbandman. Is it best then that all our citizens 
should be employed in its improvement, or that 
one half should be called off from that to exercise 
nianufactures and handicraft arts for the other? 
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people 
of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts 
He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial 
and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he 
ke^ps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might 
esoape from the face of the earth. Corruption of 
mox^s in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon 
of "Which no age nor nation has furnished an example. 
It is the mark set on those, who, not looking up to 
he^^ven, to their own soil and industry, as does the 
husbandman, for their subsistence, depend for it 
otx casualties and caprice of customers. Depend- 
eaoe begets subservience and venality, suffocates 
the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the 
designs of ambition. This, the natural progress 
and consequence of the arts, has sometimes perhaps 
been retarded by accidental circtimstances ; but, 
generally speaking, the proportion which the aggre- 
gate of the other classes of citizens bears in any 
State to that of its husbandmen, is the proportion 
of its unsound to its healthy parts, and is a good 
enough barometer whereby to measure its degree of 

230 Jefferson's Works 

corruption. While we have land to labor then, let 
us never wish to see our citizens occupied at a work- 
bench, or twirling a distaff. Carpenters, masons, 
smiths, are wanting in husbandry; but, for the 
general operations of manufacture, let our work- 
shops remain in Europe. It is better to carry pro- 
visions and materials to workmen there, than bring 
them to the provisions and materials, and with them 
their manners and principles. The loss by the 
transportation of commodities across the Atlantic 
will be made up in happiness and permanence of 
government. The mobs of great cities add jxist 
so much to the support of pure government, as sores 
do to the strength of the htiman body. It is the 
manners and spirit of a people which preserve a 
republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker 
which soon eats to the heart of its laws and con- 


A notice of the commercial productions particular to 
the State, and of those objects which the inhabitants 
are obliged to get from Europe and from other parts 
of the world. ? 

Before the present war we exported, communibus 
annis, according to the best information I can get, 
nearly as follows: 

Notes on Virginia 





Indian com 


MasU, planks, scant- 1 
ling, shingles, staves/ 

Tar, xntch, turpentine . 

Peltry, viz., sldns of 
deer, beavers, otters, 
musk rats, raccoons, 


Flax-seed, hemp, cotton 

IHt coal, pig iron 


Stuxgeon, white shad, 

Brandy from peaches 
and i4>ples, and whis- 



55,000 hhds. of x,ooo lbs. 
800,000 bushels. 
600,000 ** 

30,000 barrels. 

x8o hhds. of 600 lbs. 

4,000 barrels. 

5,000 bushels, barrels. 

Price in 

at 3od. per hhd. 
at 5-6d. per bush, 
at id. j>er bush. 

at lid. j>er bbl. 

at 5- z ad. per lb. 

at lod. i>er bbl. 

at }d. per bush, 
at aid. per bbl. 

Amount in 









In the year 1758 we exported seventy thousand 
hogsheads of tobacco, which was the greatest quan- 
tity ever produced in this country in one year. But 
its culture was fast declining at the commencement 
of this war and that of wheat taken its place; and 
it must continue to decline on the return of peace. 
I suspect that the change in the temperature of our 
climate has become sensible to that plant, which 
to be good, requires an extraordinary degree of 
heat. But it requires still more indispensably an 
uncommon fertility of soil; and the price which it 
commands at market will not enable the planter to 
produce this by manure. Was the supply still to 

^'nu9 stun is equal to ;£85o,ooo; Virginia money, 607,14a guineas. 


Jefferson's Works 

depend on Virginia and Maryland alone as its culti 
becomes more difficult, the price would rise so 
to enable the planter to surmount those difficultii 
and to live. But the western country on the Mi 
sissippi, and the midlands of Georgia, having fresh 
and fertile lands in abundance, and a hotter sun 
will be able to undersell these two States, and will 
oblige them to abandon the raising of tobacco al' 
gcther. And a happy obligation for them it will 
It is a culture productive of infinite wretchedness. 
Those employed in it are in a continual state of 
exertion beyond the power of nature to support. 
Little food of any kind is raised by them; so that 
the men and animals on these farms are badly fed, 
and the earth is rapidly impoverished. The culti- 
vation of wheat is the reverse in every circumstance. 
Besides clothing the earth with herbage, and pre- 
serving its fertility, it feeds the laborers plentifully, 
requires from them only a moderate toil, except 
the season of harvest, raises great numbers of ani- 
mals for food and service, and diffuses plenty and 
happiness among the whole. We find it easier to 
make an hundred bushels of wheat than a thousand 
weight of tobacco, and they are worth more when 
made. The weavil indeed is a formidable obstacle 
to the cultivation of this grain with us. But prini 
pies are already known which must lead to a remed; 
Thus a certain degree of heat, to wit. that of the" 
common air in summer, is necessary to hatch the 
eggs. If subterranean granaries, or others, there- 




cle ^^ 

Notes on Virginia 233 

fore, can be contrived below that temperature, the 
evil will be cured by cold. A degree of heat beyond 
that which hatches the egg we know will kill it. But 
in aiming at this we easily run into that which pro- 
duced putrefaction. To produce putrefaction, how- 
ever, three agents are requisite, heat, moisture, and 
the external air. If the absence of any one of these 
be secured, the other two may safely be admitted. 
Heat is the one we want. Moisture then, or external 
air, must be excluded. The former has been done 
by exposing the grain in kilns to the action of fire, 
which produces heat, and extracts moisture at the 
same time; the latter, by putting the grain into 
hogsheads, covering it with a coating of lime, and 
heading it up. In this situation its bulk produced 
a heat sufficient to kill the eggs; the moisture is 
suffered to remain indeed, but the external air is 
excluded. A nicer operation yet has been attempted ; 
that is, to produce an intermediate temperature of 
heat between that which kills the egg, and that 
which produces putrefaction. The threshing the 
grain as soon as it is cut, and laying it in its chaff in 
large heaps, has been found very nearly to hit this 
temperature, though not perfectly, nor always. The 
heap generates heat sufficient to kill most of the 
^ggs, whilst the chaff commonly restrains it from 
rising into putrefaction. But all these methods 
abridge too much the quantity which the farmer 
can manage, and enable other coim tries to undersell 
him, which are not infested with this insect. There 

334 Jefferson's Works 

is still a desideratum then to give with us decisive 
triumph to this branch of agriculture over that of 
tobacco. The culture of wheat by enlarging our 
pasture, will render the Arabian horse an article of 
very considerable profit. Experience has shown 
that ours is the particular climate of America where 
he may be raised without degeneracy. South- 
wardly the heat of the sun occasions a deficiency of 
pasture, and northwardly the winters are too cold 
for the short and fine hair, the particular sensibility 
and constitution of that race. Animals transplanted 
into unfriendly climates, either change their nature 
and acquire new senses against the new difficulties 
in which they are placed, or they multiply poorly 
and become extinct. A good foimdation is laid for 
their propagation here by our possessing already 
gp-eat numbers of horses of that blood, and by a 
decided taste and preference for them established 
among the people. Their patience of heat without 
injury, their superior wind, fit them better in this 
and the more southern climates even for the drudg- 
eries of the plough and wagon. Northwardly they 
will become an object only to persons of taste and 
fortune, for the saddle and light carriages. To those, 
and for these uses, their fleetness and beauty mil 
recommend them. Besides these there will be 
other valuable substitutes when the cultivation of 
tobacco shall be discontinued such as cotton in the 
eastern parts of the State, and hemp and flax tn the 

Notes on Virginia 235 

It is not easy to say what are the articles either 
of necessity, comfort, or luxury, which we cannot 
raise, and which we therefore shall be under a neces- 
sity of importing from abroad, as everything hardier 
than the olive, and as hardy as the fig, may be raised 
here in the open air. Sugar, coffee and tea, indeed, 
are not between these limits; and habit having 
placed them among the necessaries of life with the 
wealthy part of our citizens, as long as these habits 
remain we must go for them to those coimtries which 
axe able to furnish them. 


ZThe weights, measures and the currency of the hard 
money? Some details relating to exchange with 
Europe f 

Our weights and measures are the same which are 

£xed by acts of parliament in England. How it 

Ilias happened that in this as well as the other Amer- 

:Scan States the nominal value of coin was made to 

differ from what it was in the country we had left, 

a,nd to differ among ourselves too, I am not able to 

^ay with certainty. I find that in 1631 our house 

^f burgesses desired of the privy council in England, 

a coin debased to twenty-five per cent.; that in 

1645 they forbid dealing by barter for tobacco, and 

established the Spanish piece of eight at six shillings, 

as the standard of their currency; that in 1655 they 

changed it to five shillings sterling. In 1680 they 


Jefferson's Works 

sent an address to the king, in consequence of which, 
by proclamation in 1683, he fixed the value of 
French crowns, rix dollars, and pieces of eight, at 
six shiUings, and the coin of New England at one 
shilling. That in 1710, 1714, 1727. and 1762. other 
regulations were made, which will be better presented 
to the eye stated in the form of a table as follows : 





S.- dwt. 
s.. d-t. .. . 

4d. dwt. 

aid. d-i. 

4. jd. dwl. 

Dritiih Bold coin not 
milled, gold «rin of 
Spun and France, che- 
qiiins, Arabian gold, 

Enslish milled nlver 
money, ia proportion lo 

Pieces of ciBht ol Mexico. 
Seville ft Pillar, duca- 
toon» of Planden. 
French *ciui. or nlver 
Louli. cniiad™ o[ Pot- 

j»d. d«t, 

Peru piece., c™. dollora. 
«id old ri. dollar, of the 

Old Britidi nlver coin not 


The first symptom of the depreciation of our pres- 
ent paper money, was that of silver dollars selling 
at six shillings, which had before been worth but five 
shiUings and ninepence. The assembly thereupon 
raised them by law to six shillings. As the dollar 
is now likely to become the money-unit of America, 
as it passes at this rate in some of our sister States, 
and as it facilitates their computation in pounds 
and shillings, &c., converso, this seems to be more 

Notes on Virginia ^37 

convenient than its former denomination. But as 
this particular coin now stands higher than any 
other in the proportion of one hundred and thirty- 
three and a half to one hundred and twenty-five, 
or sixteen to fifteen, it will be necessary to raise the 
others in proportion. 


The public Income and Expenses? 

The nominal amount of these varying cpnstantly 
and rapidly, with the constant and rapid deprecia- 
tion of our paper money, it becomes impracticable 
to say what they are. We find ourselves cheated in 
every essay by the depreciation intervening between 
the declaration of the tax and its actual receipt. It 
will therefore be more satisfactory to consider what 
our income may be when we shall find means of 
collecting what our people may spare. I should 
estimate the whole taxable property of this State at 
an hundred millions of dollars, or thirty millions of 
pounds, oiu- money. One per cent, on this, com- 
pared with anything we ever yet paid, would be 
deemed a very heavy tax. Yet I think that those 
who manage well, and use reasonable economy, 
could pay one and a half per cent., and maintain 
their household comfortably in the meantime, with- 
out aliening any part of their principal, and that 
the people would submit to this willingly for the 

^3^ Jefferson^s Works 

purpose of supporting their present contest. We 
may say, then, that we could raise, from one million 
to one million and a half of dollars annually, that 
is from three hundred to four hundred and fifty 
thousand pounds, Virginia money. 

Of our expenses it is equally difficult to give an 
exact state, and for the same reason. They are 
mostly stated in paper money, which varying con- 
tinually, the legislature endeavors at every session, 
by new corrections, to adapt the nominal simis to 
the value it is wished they would bear. I will state 
them, therefore, in real coin, at the point at which 
they endeavor to keep them: 


The annual expenses of the general assembly are about . . 20,000 

The governor 3*333}i 

The council of state 10,666^ 

Their clerks 1,166^ 

Eleven judges 11 ,000 

The clerk of the chancery 666^4 

The attorney general i ,000 

Three auditors and a solicitor 5*333}^ 

Their clerks 2,000 

The treasurer 2.000 

His clerks 2,000 

The keeper of the public jail i ,000 

The public printer i ,666^ 

Clerks of the inferior coiu*ts 43.333^ 

Public levy; this is chiefly for the expenses of criminal . . . 

justice 40,000 

County levy, for bridges, court-houses, prisons, &c 40,000 

Members of Congress 7 ,000 

Quota of the federal civil list, supposed one-sixth of about 

$78,000 13,000 

Expenses of collecting, six per cent, on the above 12,310 

Notes on Virginia ^39 


The clergy receive only voluntary contributions; sup- 
pose them on an average one-eighth of a dollar a tythe 
on 200,000 tythes 25,000 

Contingencies, to make round ntunbers not far from 

truth 7»S^3^ 


or 53,571 guineas. This estimate is exclusive of the 
military expense. That varies with the force actu- 
ally employed, and in time of peace will probably be 
little or nothing. It is exclusive also of the public 
debts, which are growing while I am writing, and 
cannot therefore be now fixed. So it is of the main- 
tenance of the poor, which being merely a matter of 
charity cannot be deemed expended in the admin- 
istration of government. And if we strike out the 
$25,000 for the services of the clergy, which neither 
makes part of that administration, more than what 
is paid to physicians, or lawyers, and being volim- 
tary, is either much or nothing as every one pleases, 
it leaves $225,000, equal to 48,208 guineas, the real 
cost of the apparatus of government with us. This 
divided among the actual inhabitants of our countr>% 
comes to about two-fifths of a dollar, twenty-one 
pence sterling, or forty-two sols, the price which 
each pays annually for the protection of the residue 
of his property, and the other advantages of a free 
government. The public revenues of Great Britain 
divided in like manner on its inhabitants would be 
sixteen times greater. Deducting even the double 
of the expenses of government, as before estimated, 

240 Jefferson's Works 

from the million and a half of dollars which we 
before supposed might be annually paid without 
distress, we may conclude that this State can 
contribute one million of dollars annually towards 
supporting the federal army, paying the federal 
debt, building a federal navy, or opening roads, 
clearing rivers, forming safe ports, and other useful 

To this estimate of our abilities, let me add a word 
as to the application of them. If, when cleared of 
the present contest, and of the debts with which 
that will charge us, we Come to measure force here- 
after with any European power. Such events are 
devoutly to be deprecated. Young as we are, and 
with such a country before us to fill with ^leople and 
with happiness, we should point in that direction 
the whole generative force of nature, wasting none 
of it in efforts of mutual destruction. It should 
be our endeavor to cultivate the peace and friend- 
ship of every nation, even of that which has injured 
us most, when we shall have carried our point against 
her. Our interest will be to throw open the doors 
of commerce, and to knock off all its shackles, giving 
perfect freedom to all persons for the vent of what- 
ever they may choose to bring into our ports, and 
asking the same in theirs. Never was so much 
false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that 
which has been employed to persuade nations that 
it is their interest to go to war. Were the money 
which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, 

Notes on Virginia 241 

a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut 
wood here, or to catch fish there, expended in im- 
proving what they already possess, in making roads, 
opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts, 
and finding employment for their idle poor, it would 
render them much stronger, much wealthier and 
happier. This I hope will be our wisdom. And, 
perhaps, to remove as much as possible the occa- 
sions of making war, it might be better for us to 
abandon the ocean altogether, that being the element 
whereon we shall be principally exposed to jostle 
with other nations ; to leave to others to bring what 
we shall want, and to carry what we can spare. 
This would make us invulnerable to Europe, by 
offering none of our property to their prize, and 
would turn all our citizens to the cultivation of the 
earth; and, I repeat it again, cultivators of the 
earth are the most virtuous and independent citi- 
zens. It might be time enough to seek employment 
for them at sea, when the land no longer offers it. 
But the actual habits of our countrymen attach 
them to commerce. They will exercise it for them- 
selves. Wars then must sometimes be our lot; and 
all the wise can do, will be to avoid that half of them 
which would be produced by our own follies and our 
own acts of injustice; and to make for the other 
half the best preparations we can. Of what nature 
should these be ? A land army would be useless for 
offence, and not the best nor safest instrument of 
defence. For either of these purposes, the sea is 

VOL. 11 — 16 

843 Jefferson's Works 

the field on which we should meet an European 
enemy. On that element it is necessary we should 
possess some power. To aim at such a navy as the 
greater nations of Europe possess, would be a fool- 
ish and wicked waste of the energies of our country- 
men. It would be to pull on our own heads that 
load of military expense which makes the European 
laborer go supperless to bed, and moistens his bread 
with the sweat of his brows. It will be enough if 
we enable ourselves to prevent insults from those 
nations of Europe which are weak on the sea, be- 
cause circumstances exist, which render even the 
stronger ones weak as to us. Providence has placed 
their richest and most defenceless possessions at our 
door; has obliged their most precious commerce to 
pass, as it were, in review before us. To protect 
this, or to assail, a small part only of their naval 
force will ever be risked across the Atlantic. The 
dangers to which the elements expose them here are 
too well known, and the greater dangers to which 
they would be exposed at home were any general 
calamity to involve their whole fleet. They can 
attack us by detachment only; and it will suffice 
to make ourselves equal to what they may detach. 
Even a smaller force than they may detach will be 
rendered equal or superior by the quickness with 
which any check may be repaired with us, while 
losses with them will be irreparable till too late. A 
small naval force then is sufficient for us, and a small 
one is necessary. What this should be. I will not 

Notes on \^rgmia M3 

tmdertake to say. I will only say. it shotdd by no 
means be so great as we are able to make it. Sup- 
pose the milliofi erf dollars, or three hundred thou- 
sand pounds, which Viiginia could annually spare 
without distress, to be applied to the creating a na\*\\ 
A single year's contribution woidd build, equip, man, 
and send to sea a force which shotdd carry three 
himdred guns. The rest of the confederacy, exert- 
ing themselves in the same proportion, woidd equip 
in the same time fifteen hundred guns more. So 
that one year's contributions would set up a navy 
of eighteen hundred guns. The British ships of 
the line average seventy-six guns; their frigates 
thirty-eight. Eighteen hundred guns then would 
form a fleet of thirty ships, eighteen of which might 
be of the line, and twelve frigates. Allowing eight 
men, the British average, for ever>^ gun, their annual 
expense, including subsistence, clothing, pay, and 
ordinary repairs, would be about $1,280 for every 
gun, or $2,304,000 for the whole. I state this only 
as one year's possible exertion, without deciding 
whether more or less than a year's exertion should 
be thus applied. 

The value of our lands and slaves, taken con- 
junctly, doubles in about twenty years. This arises 
from the mtiltiplication of our slaves, from the ex- 
tension of culture, and increased demand for lands. 
The amount of what may be raised will of course 
rise in the same proportion. 

^44 Jefferson's Works 


The histories of the State ^ the memorials published in 
its name in the time of its being a colony y and the 
pamphlets relating to its interior or exterior affairs 
present or ancient? 

Captain Smith, who next to Sir Walter Raleigh 
may be considered as the fotmder of our colony, has 
written its history, from the first adventures to it, till 
the year 1624. He was a member of the council, and 
afterwards president of the colony ; and to his efforts 
principally may be ascribed its support against the 
opposition of the natives. He was honest, sensible, 
and well informed ; but his style is barbarous and 
uncouth. His history, however, is almost the only 
source from which we derive any knowledge of the 
infancy of our State. 

The reverend William Stith, a native of Virginia, 
and president of its college, has also written the 
history of the same period, in a large octavo volume 
of small print. He was a man of classical learning, 
and very exact, but of no taste in style. He is 
inelegant, therefore, and his details often too minute 
to be tolerable, even to a native of the country, whose 
history he writes. 

Beverley, a native also, has nm into the other 
extreme, he has comprised our history from the 
first propositions of Sir Walter Raleigh to the year 
1700, in the hundredth part of the space which Stith 
employs for the foiuth part of the period. 

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Notes on Virginia 245 

Sir Walter Keith has taken it up at its, earliest 
period, and continued it to the year 1725. He is 
agreeable enough in style, and passes over events 
of little importance. Of course he is short and 
would be preferred by a foreigner. 

During the regal government, some contest arose 
on the exaction of an illegal fee by Governor Din- 
widdie, and doubtless there were others on other 
occasions not at present recollected. It is supposed 
that these are not sufficiently interesting to a for- 
eigner to merit a detail. 

The petition of the council and burgesses of Vir- 
ginia to the king, their memorials to the lords, and 
remonstrance to the commons in the year 1764, 
began the present contest ; and these having proved 
ineffectual to prevent the passage of the stamp-act, 
the resolutions of the house of burgesses of 1765 
were passed declaring the independence of the peo- 
ple of Virginia of the parliament of Great Britain, 
in matters of taxation. From that time till the Dec- 
laration of Independence by Congress in 1776, their 
jotUTials are filled with assertions of the public rights. 

The pamphlets published in this State on the 
controverted question, were: 

1766, An Inquiry into the rights of the British 
Colonies, by Richard Bland. 

1769, The Monitor's Letters, by Dr. Arthur Lee. 

1774, A stmimary View of the rights of British 

* By the author of these " Notes." 

246 Jefferson's Works 

1774, Considerations, &c., by Robert Carter Nich- 

Since the Declaration of Independence this State 
has had no controversy with any other, except with 
that of Pennsylvania, on their common boimdary. 
Some papers on this subject passed between the 
executive and legislative bodies of the two States, 
the result of which was a happy accommodation of 
their rights. 

To this accotmt of our historians, memorials, and 
pamphlets, it may not be unuseful to add a chrono- 
logical catalogue of American state-papers, as far 
as I have been able to collect their titles. It is far 
from being either complete or correct. Where the 
title alone, and not the paper itself, has come under 
my observation, I cannot answer for the exactness 
of the date. Sometimes I have not been able to find 
any date at all, and sometimes have not been satis- 
fied that such a paper exists. An extensive collec- 
tion of papers of this description has been for some 
time in a course of preparation by a gentleman* 
fully equal to the task, and from whom, therefore, 
we may hope ere long to receive it. In the mean- 
time accept this as the result of my labors, and as 
closing the tedious detail which you have so unde- 
signedly drawn upon yourself. 

' Ebenezer Hazard. 

Notes on Virginia 247 

Pro Johanne Caboto et filiis suis super terra incognita in- *496, Mar. 5* 

vestiganda. 12. Ry. 595. 3. Hakl. 4. 2. Mem. A. 409. " ' ^* 
Billa signata anno 13. Henrid septimi. 3. Hakluyt's voi- 1498. Feb. 3- 

ages 5. • '^ "• ^* 

De potestatibtis ad terras incognitas investigandiun. 13. ^soa, Dec. xp. 

Rymer. 37. '^^^''^ 

Commission de Francois I. k Jacques Catier pour Testabr x54o, Oct. 17. 

lissement du Canada. L'Escarbot. 397. 2. Mem. Am. 

An act against the exaction of money, or any other thing, »S48, a. E. 6. 

by any officer for license to traffique into Iseland and 

New-foundland, made in An. 2. Edwardi sexti. 3. Hakl. 

The letters-patent granted by her Majestic to Sir Hum- '578. June n. 

phrey Gilbert, knight, for the inhabiting and planting 

of our people in America. 3. Hakl. 135. 
Letters-patent of Queen Elizabeth to Adrian Gilbert and '^83. Feb. 6. 

others to discover the northwest passage to China. 3. 

Hakl. 96. 
The letters-patent granted by the Queen's majestic to M. ^584. Mar. as. 

Walter Raleigh, now Knight, for the discovering and 

planting of new lands and countries, to continue the 

space of six years and no more. 3. Hakl. 243. 
An assignment by Sir Walter Raleigh for continuing the Mar. 7. 3x. El. 

action of inhabiting and planting his people in Virginia. 

Hakl. ist. ed. publ. in 1589. p. 815. 
Lettres de Lieutenant General de TAcadie et pays circon- 1603, Nov. 8. 

voisins poiir le Sieur de Monts. L'Escarbot. 417. 
Letters-patent to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers 1606, Apr. 10. 

and others of America. Stith. Apend. No. i. 4j«c. i. 

An ordinance and constitution enlarging the council of '^7. Mar. 9. 

the two colonies in Virginia and America, and augment- 
ing their authority, M. S. 
The second charter to the treasurer and company for 1609. May 23. 

Virginia, erecting them into a body politick. Stith. ^J**^*** 

Ap. 2. 
Letters-patent to the E. of Northampton, granting part »6io. April 10. 

of the island of Newfotmdl and. i. Harris. 861. jac. i. 

A third charter to the treasvirer and company for Virginia. *^J'; **""• *** 

Stith. Ap. 3. ^^^^^ j^ ^ 

A commission to Sir Walter Raleigh. Qu. 


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Notes on Virginia 249 

Dc proclamatione de signatione de tobacco. i8. Rym. 886 »6a7. Mar. 30. 
De proclamatione pro ordinatione de tobacco. 18. Rym. ^^ ' '* 

*^ ^ -^ i6a7, Aug. 9. 

920. 3 Car. X. 

A confirmation of the grant of Massachusetts bay by the x6a8. Mar. 4. 
crown. ^ ^^' '• 

The capittdation of Quebec. Champlain pert. 2. 316. 1619, Aug. 19. 
2. Mem. Am. 489. 

A proclamation concerning tobacco. 19. Rym. 235. 1630, Jan. 6. 

Conveyance of Nova Scotia (Port-royal excepted) by Sir * ^^- '• 
William Alexander to Sir Claude St. Etienne Lord of la «<i3o, April 30. 
Totir and of Uarre and to his son Sir Charles de St. 
Etienne Lord of St. Denniscourt, on condition that they 
continue subjects to the king of Scotland under the 
great seal of Scotland. 

A proclamation forbidding the disorderly trading with the 1630-^3 z, Nov. 
savages in New England in America, especially the '** ^ ^^* '* 
furnishing the natives in those and other parts of Amer- 
ica by the English with weapons and habiliments of 
warre. 19. Ry. 210. 3. Rushw. 82. 

A proclamation prohibiting the selling arms, &c. to the 1630, Dec. s- 
savages in America. Mentioned 3. Rtishw. 75. 6 Car. x. 

A grant of Connecticut by the council of Plymouth to the 1630, Car. x. 
E. of Warwick. 

A confirmation by the crown of the grant of Connecticut X630, Car. x. 
[said to be in the petty-bag office in England]. 

A conveiance of Connecticut by the E. of Warwick to 1631, Mar. X9. 
Lord Say, and Seal, and others. Smith's examination, '* 

Appendix No. i. 
A special commission to Edward, Earle of Dorsett. and 1631, June br- 
others, for the better plantation of the colony of Vir- ' ' '* 
ginia. 19. Ry. 301. 
X.«itere continentcs promissionem regis ad tradenum cas- 163 a. June •9- 
trum et habitationem de Kebec in Canada ad regem ^ '* 
Franconim. 19. Ry. 303. 
Traits entre Ic roy Louis XIII. et Charles roi d'Angleterre 163a, Mar. 99- 
pour la restitution de la nouvelle France, la Cadie et * * '* 
Canada et des navires et merchandises pris de part et 
d'autre. Fait a St. Germain. 19. Ry. 361. 2. Mem. Am. 

A grant of Maryland to Caecilius Calvert, baron of Balti- 163a. Juno ao. 

more in Ireland, * ^^' ** 

A petition of the planters nf Virginia against the gntat to 
lord Baltimore. 

Order of council upon the dispute between the Virgini* 
planters and lord Baltimore. Votes of repres. Penn- 
sylvania. V. 

A proclamation to prevent abuses growing by the unor- 
dered retailing o£ tobacco. Mentioned j. Rushw. 

A special commission to Thomas Young to search, dis- 
cover and find out what ports are not yet inhabited in 
Virginia and America and other parts thereunto adjoin- 
ing, ig. Ry. 473. 

A proclamation for preventing of the abuses growing by 
the unordered retailing of tobacco. 19. Ry. 474. 

A proclamation restraining the abusive venting of 
tobacco, ig, Rym. s>s. 

A proclamation concerning the landing of tobacco, and 
also forbidding the planting thereof in the king's do- 
Ry- 553 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury «nd 1 
others, for governing the American colonies, 
concerning tobacco, M. S. 
from Lord Say, and Seal, and othen to 1 
John Winthrop to be governor of Connecticut. Smith*! | 

A grant to Duke Hamilton, 

De comraissione spedali Johanni Harvey militi to pro 
meliori regeminc coloniac in Virginia. 20. Ry. 3, 

A proclamation concerning tobacco. Title in 3. Rush. 

ipeciali Georgio domino Goring et aliis 
venditionem de tobacco absque 
10. Ry. 116, 
against disorderly transporting his Majes- 
ty's subjects to the pi antations within the parts of Amer- 
ica. 10. Ry. 143. 3, Rush. 409. 

An order of the privy council to stay 8 ships 

Thames from going to New England. 3. Rush. 409. 

A warrant of the Lord Admiral to stop unconformable 
ministers from going beyond the sea. 3, Rush. . 

Order of council upon Claiborne's petition against Lord 
Baltimore. Votes of representatives of Pennsylvi 

licentia 1 

Notes on Virginia 251 

An order of the king and council that the attorney general ^^38. Apr. 6 

draw up a proclamation to prohibit transportation of '^ "' '' 

passengers to New England without license. 3. Rush. 

-A proclamation to restrain the transporting of passengers x6.i8. May. i. 

and provisions to New England without license. 20. Ry. '4 Car. 1. 

-A proclamation concerning tobacco. Title 4. Rush. 1060. 1639. Mar. as. 
-A proclamation declaring his majesty's pleasure to con- '' 

tinue his commission and letters patents for licensing Jjcir. "* '^ 

retailers of tobacco. 20. Ry. 348. 
^e commissione speciali Henrico Ashton armigero et aliis 1630. Dec. 16. 

ad amovendum Henricum Hawley gubematorem de '^ ' '' 

Barbadoes. 20. Rym. 357. 
-A proclamation concerning retailers of tobacco. 4. Rush. i639t Car. 1. 

X)e constitutione gubematoris et concilii pro Virginia. 20. 1641, Aug. 9. 

Ry. 484. 17 Car. 1. 

-Articles of union and confederacy entered into by Massa- 1643. Car. i. 
chusetts, Pljrmouth, Connecticut and New-haven, i. 
Neale. 223. 

Deed from George Fenwick to the old Connecticut juris- 1644, Car. x. 

An ordinance of the lords and commons assembled in par- 
liament, for exempting from custom and imposition 
all commodities exported for, or imported from New 
England, which has been very prosperous and without 
any public charge to this State, and is likely to prove 
very happy for the propagation of the gospel in those 
parts. Tit. in Amer. library 90. 5. No date. But 
seems by the neighbouring articles to have been in 1644. 

An act for charging of tobacco brought from New Eng- 1644. June ao. 
land with custom and excise. Title in American library ^^' '* 
99. 8 

An act for the advancing and regulating the trade of this 1644. Aug. 1. 
commonwealth. Tit. in Amer. libr. 99. 9. ' ** 

Grant of the Northern neck of Virginia to Lord Hopton, Sep. 18. 
Lord Jermyn, Lord Culpepper, Sir John Berkley, Sir * ^^' *• 
William Moreton, Sir Dudley Wyatt, and Thomas Cul- 

An act prohibiting trade with the Barbadoes, Virginia, 1650, Oct. 3. 
Bermudas and Antego Scobell's Acts. 1027. " * *' 

252 Jefferson's Works 

1650, Car. a. A declaration of Lord Willoughby, governor of Barbadoes, 

and of his council, against an act of parliament of 3d of 
hist, of the Puri. Polit. register. 2. cited from 4 Neal. 
final settlementtans. App. No. 12 but not there. 
i6so. Car. a A October, 1650. of botmdaries between the Dutch New 

Netherlands and Connecticut. 

1651. Sept. a6. Instructions for Captain Robert Dennis, Mr. Richard 
3. Car. a. Bennet, Mr. Thomas Stagge, and Captain William Clai- 

boum, appointed commissioners for the reducing of 
WiTgimsL and the inhabitants thereof to their due obe- 
dience to the commonwealth of England, i Thurloe's 
state papers, 197. 

x6si, Oct. 9. An act for increase of shipping and encotu'agement of the 

8 Car. a. navigation of this nation. Scobell's Acts, 1449. 

165 i-a, Mar. Articles agreed on and concluded at James citie in Virginia 

1 a. 4 Car. a. ^^^ ^^ siurendering and settling of that plantation under 

the obedience and government of the commonwealth 
of England, by the commissioners of the council of 
state, by authoritie of the parliament of England, and 
by the grand assembly of the governor, council, and 
burgesse of that state. M. S. [Ante. p. ao6.] 

x6s i-a, Mar. An act of indempnitie made at the surrender of the country 

la. 4 Car. i. [of Virginia.] [Ante p. 206.] 

1654, Aug. x6. Capittilation de Port Royal. Mem. Am. 507. 

x6ss, Car. a. A proclamation of the protector relating to Jamaica. 3 

Thurl. 75. 

i6ss, Sep. a6. The protector to the commissioners of Maryland. A 

f^^*' letter. 4 Thurl. 55. 

x6ss. Oct. 8. An instrument made at the council of Jamaica, Oct. 8, 

7 Car. a. 1655, for the better carrying on of affairs there. 4 Thurl. 

i6ss. Nov. 3. Treaty of Westminster between France and England. 6. 

corps diplom. part 2. p. 121. 2. Mem. Am. 10. 

1656. Mar. 27. The assembly at Barbadoes to the protector. 4 Thurl. 

8 Car. a. ^ 


1656, Aug. 9- A grant by Cromwell to Sir Charles de Saint Etienne, a 

baron of Scotland, Crowne and Temple. A French 
translation of it. a Mem. Am. 511. 
1656, Car. a. A paper concerning the advancement of trade, 5 Thurl. 80— 
1656, Car. a. A Srief narration of the English rights to the Northem. 

parts of America. 5 Thurl. 81. 

Notes on Virginia 253 

Mr. R. Bennet and Mr. S. Matthew to Secretary Thurlow. >6s6, Oct. lo. 
- Tu 10 "^8 Car. a. 

5 Thurl. 482. 

Objections against the Lord Baltimore's patent, and rea- 1656, Oct. 10. 
sons why the government of Maryland shoiild not be * *' 
put into his hands. 5 Thurl. 483. 

A paper relating to Maryland. 5 Thurl. 483. 1656. Oct. 10. 

A breviet of the proceedings of the lord Baltimore and his ® ^^- *• 
officers and compilers in Maryland, against the author- J^ ^* ***' 
ity of the parliament of the commonwealth of England 
and against his highness the lord protector's authority, 
laws and government. 5 Thurl. 486. 

The assembly of A^rginia to secretary Thurlow. 5 Thurl. '^56, Oct. 15. 


The governor of Barbadoes to the protector. 6 Thurl. 69. 1657, Apr. 4. 

Petition of the general court at Hartford upon Connecti- ' ** 
cut for charter. Smith's exam. App. 4. 11,.. 

Charter of the colony of Connecticut. Smith's exam. x66a, Apr. 23. 
App. 6. '^^''' 

The first charter granted by Charles II. to the proprie- i662-3,Mar.24. 
taries of CaroHna, to wit, to the Earl of Clarendon, Duke ^^^' ^' '* ^* ** 
of Albemarle, Lord Craven, Lord Berkeley, Lord Ash- 
ley, Sir George Carteret, Sir William Berkeley, and Sir 
John Colleton. 4 Mem. Am. 554. 

The concessions and agreement of the lords proprietors of 1664. Feb. 10. 
the province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, to and 
with all and every of the adventurers and all such as 
shall settle or plant there. Smith's New Jersey. App. i. 

A grant of the colony of New York to the Duke of York. '^^clr^*'' '** 

A commission to Colonel Nichols and others to settle dis- ^^^ ^ '^ ^^ 
putes in New England. Hutch. Hist. Mass. Bay, App. x6 Car. 2. 

The commission to Sir Robert Carre and others to put the "664, Apr. 26. 

Duke of York in possession of New York, New Jersey, 
and all other lands thereunto appertaining. 
Sir Robert Carre and others proclamation to the inhabi- 
tants of New York, New Jersey, &c. Smith's N. J. 36. 

Deeds of lease and release of New Jersey by the Duke of 1664. June 23. 

24. xo iJar. 2. 
York to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. 

A conveiance of the Delaware counties to William Penn. ^ ^^^^^ ^^ 

Letters between Stuyvesant and Colonel Nichols on the ! ^^ • ***"^*'' 

English right. Smith's N. J. 37 — 42. ] Aug. 25. 

I Sept. 4. 

Jefferson's Works 

Treaty between the English and Dutch tor the surrender 16*4, Anr-^ 

of the New Netherlands Sm. N. J. 42. 
Nicoll's commission to Sir. Robert Carre to reduce the Sept. j. 

Dutch on Delaware bay. Sm. N. J. 47. 
Instructions to Sir Robert Carre for reducing of Delaware 

bay and settling the people there under bis majesty's 

obedience, Sm. N. J. 47. 
Articles of capitulation between Sir Robert Carre and the i66*, 1 

Dutch and Swedes on Delaware bay and Delaware 

river, Sm. N. J. 49. 
The determination of the commissioners of the boundary '664, 

between the Duke of York and Connecticut. Sm. Ex, " "^"^ 

Ap. 9. 
The New Haven case. Smith's Ex. Ap. 30. tM*. 

The second charter granted by Charles II, to the same 1**5. J 

proprietors of Carolina. 4. Mem, Am. 586. '*' '' 

Declaration de guerre par la France contre I'Angleterre. 16M, J 

3 Mem. Am. 123. 
Declaration of war by the Idng of England against the '***. 

king of France. '' 

The treaty of peace between France and England made 

at Breda. ; Corps. Dipl, part i. p. 511. Mem. Am. 3: 
The treaty of peace and alliance between England and the 

United Provinces made at Breda. 7. Cor. Dip. p. 

i66r. July 
.657, July 

. Mer 

I. 40. 


roi de France. 

Acte de la cession de I'Acadie 

Directions from the governor and council of New York for 

a better settlement of the government on Delaware. 

Sm. N. J. 51. 
Lovelace's order for customs at the Hoarkills. Sm. N. J 

A confirmation of the grant of the northern neck of Vir 

ginia to the Earl of St. Albans, Lord Berkeley, Sir 

William Moreton and John Tretheway, 
Incorporation of the town o( Newcastle or Amstell. 
A demise of the colony of Virginia to the Earl of Arlington 

and Lord Culpepper tor 31 years. M, S. 
Treaty at London between king Charles II, and the Dutch. 

Article VI, 
Remonstrance against the two grants of Charles II. of 

Northern and Southern Virginia. Ment<l. Beverley 65. 

e6]-a, Pcb. 

00s, April 11. 

Notes on Virginia ^55 

Sir George Carteret's instructions to Governor Cateret. 1674, July 13. 
Governor Andros's proclamation on taking possession of 1674. Nov. o- 

Newcastle for the Duke of York. Sm. N. J. 78. 
A proclamation for prohibiting the importation of com- 167s, Oct. i. 

modities of Europe into any of his majesty's plantations '^ ' *' 

in Africa, Asia, or America, which were not laden in 

England; and for putting all other laws relating to the 

trade of the plantations in effectual execution. 
The concessions and agreements of the proprietors, free- 1676. Mar. 3. 

holders and inhabitants of the province of West New 

Jersey in America. Sm. N. J. App. 2. 
A deed quintipartite for the division of New Jersey. 1676. July i. 

Letter from the proprietors of New Jersey to Richard 1676, Au«. 18. 

Hartshome. Sm. N. J. 80. 
Proprietors instructions to James Wasse and Richard 

Hartshome. Sm. N. J. 83. 
The charter of king Charles II. to his subjects of Virginia. 1676, Oct. 10. 

M.S. '* ^' '• 

Cautionary epistle from the trustees of Byllinge's part of 1676. 

New Jersey. Sm. N. J. 84. 
Indian deed for the lands between Rankokas creek and 1677, Sept. xo. 

Timber creek, in New Jersey. 
Indian deed for lands from Oldman's creek to Timber 1677, Sept. ay. 

creek, in New Jersey. 
Indian deed for the lands from Rankokos creek to Assun- ,677, Oct. 10. 

pink creek, in New Jersey. 
The will of Sir George Cateret, sole proprietor of East "678, Dec. 5. 

Jersey ordering the same to be sold. 
-An order of the king in council for the better encourage- 1680, Feb. x6. 

ment of all his majesty's subjects in their trade to his 

majesty's plantations, and for the better information of 

all his majesty's loving subjects in these matters — 

Lond. Gaz. No. 1596. Title in Amer. library. 134. 6. 
-Arguments against the customs demanded in New West 1680. 

Jersey by the governor of New York, addressed to the 

Duke's commissioners. Sm. N. J. 117. 
Extracts of proceedings of the committee of trade and f 1680, June 14. 

plantations; copies of letters, reports, &c., between 

the board of trade, Mr. Penn, Lord Baltimore and Sir jg. ao. 23. 

John Werden, in the behalf of the Duke of York and the Dec- ^^^ 

settlement of the Pennsylvania boundaries by the L. C. [^ ,// peb! 

J. North. Votes of Repr. Pennsyl. vii.-xiii. ^u- 

2s6 Jefferson's Works 

163 1, Mar. 4- A grant of Pennsylvania to William Penn. Votes of Rep- 

^^* *• resen. Pennsyl. xviii. 

x68i, Apr. a. The king's declaration to the inhabitants and planters of 

the province of Pennsylvania. Vo. Repr. Penn. xxiv. 

x68x, July II. Certain conditions or concessions agreed upon by li^^iam 

Penn, proprietary and governor of Pennsylvania, and 
those who are the adventurers and purchasers in the 
same province. Votes of Rep. Pennsyl. xxiv. 

1681, Nov. 9. Ptindamental laws of the province of West New Jersey. 

Sm. N. J. 126. 

x68x-3,Jan.x4. The methods of the commissioners for settling and regu- 
lation of lands in New Jersey. Sm. N. J. 1 30. 

i68x-a,P. X. a. Indentures of lease and release by the executors of Sir 

George Carteret to William Penn and 1 1 others, convey- 
ing East Jersey. 

i68a, Mar. 14. The Duke of York's fresh grant of East New Jersey to the 

34 proprietors. 

x68a, Apr. as. The frame of the government of the province of Pennsyl- 
vania, in America. Votes of Repr. Penn. xxvii. 

x68a, Aug. ax. The Duke of York's deed for Pennsylvania. Vo. Repr. 

Penn. xxxv. 

x68a, Aug. a4. The Dtike of York's deed for the feoffment of Newcastle 

and twelve miles circle to William Penn. Vo. Repr. 

1 68a, Aug. a4. The Duke of York's deed of feoffment of a tract of land 

12 miles south from Newcastle to the Whorekills, to 
William Penn. Vo. Repr. Penn. xxxvii. 

x68a, Nov. a? A conunission to Thomas Lord Culpepper to be lieutenant 

^* * and governor-general of Virginia. M. S. 

x68a,xothinon. An act of tmion for annexing and uniting of the counties 

6th day. q£ Newcastle, Jones's and Whorekill's, alias Deal, to the 

province of Pennsylvania, and of naturalization of afl 
foreigners in the province and cotmties aforesaid. 

x68a, Dec. 6. An act of settlement. 

X683, Apr. a. The frame of the government of the province of Penn- 
sylvania and territories thereunto annexed in America. 

x68s. Mar. n. Proceedings of the com- 

S^t. a.* ' mittee of trade and Plan- 

Oct. 8, x7. 3x. tations in the dispute be- 

^ov.f. tween Lord Baltimore 

and Mr. Penn. Vo. R. 
P. xm — xvm. 

' 1683, Apr. X7.a7. 1684, Feb. i«. 
May 30. July a, 16, ty 

Jiine xa. Sept. 30. 

Dec. 9. 

Notes on Virginia ^57 

A commission by the proprietors of East New Jersey to i68j, July 17. 
Robert Barclay to be governor. Sm. N. J. 166. 

An order of council for issuing a quo warranto against the 1683, July a6. 
charter of the colony of the Massachusetts bay in New ^^ ^^' "• 
Bngland, with his majesty's declaration that in case the 
said corporation of Massachusetts bay shall before pros- 
ecution had upon the same quo warranto make a full 
submission and entire resignation to his royal pleasure, 
he will then regulate their chareter in such a manner as 
shall be for his service and the good of that colony. 
Title in American library. 139, 6. 

A commission to Lord Howard of Effingham to be lieu- x68j, Sep« sa. 
tenant and governor general of Virginia. M. S. ^^ ^'"' '• 

The humble address of the chief governor, council and 1684, May 1. 
representatives of the island of Nevis, in the West 
Indies, presented to his majesty by Colonel Netheway 
and Captain Jefferson, at Windsor, May 3, 1684. Title 
in Amer. libr. 143. 3. cites Lond. Gaz. No. 1937. 

A treaty with the Indians at Albany. 1684. ^uf- •• 

A treaty of neutrality for America between France and 1686. Nov. 16. 
England. 7 Corps Dipl. part 2, p. 44. 2. Mem. Am. 40. 

By the king, a proclamation for the more effectual reduc- 1687, Jan. 10. 
ing and suppressing of pirates and privateers in America, 
as well on the sea as on the land in great numbers, com- 
mitting frequent robberies and piracies, which hath 
occasioned a great prejudice and obstruction to trade 
and commerce, and given a great scandal and disturb- 
ance to otu* government in those parts. Title Amer. 
libr. 127. 2. cites Lond. Gaz. No. 2315. 

Constitution of the cotmcil of proprietors of West Jersey. 1687, P-b. \9, 
Smith's N. Jersey. 199. 

A confirmation of the grant of the Northern neck of Vir- 16^7. a«. Sept. 
ginia to Lord Culpepper. ''* ^ ^'^' '* 

Governor Coxe's declaration to the council of proprietors i^sj, Sept. s- 
of West Jersey. Sm. N. J. 190. 

Provisional treaty of Whitehall concerning America be- 1687, Dec. x6. 
tween France and England. 2 Mem. de TAm. 89. 

Governor Coxe*s narrative relating to the division line, ,687. 
directed to the council of proprietors of West Jersey. 
Sm. App. No. 4. 

The representation of the council of proprietors of West 1687. 
Jersey to Governor Burnet. Smith. App. No. 5. 

YOL. II — 17 


Jefferson's Works 


The remonstrance and petition ot the inhabitants of 

New Jersey tti the king Sm, App. No. 8. 
The memorial of (he proprietors of East New Jersey to the 

Lords of trade. Sm. App. No. g. 
s Agreement of the line of partition between East and West 

New Jersey. Smith's N. J. 196. 
Conveyance of the government of West Jersey and tern. 

toriea, by Dr. Coxe. to the West Jersey society. 
}■ A charter granted by King William and Queen Mary to 

the inhabitants of the province ot Massachusetts bay. 

in New England, a Mem. de I'Am. 593. 
f. The frame of government ot the province of Pennsylvania 

and the territories thereunto belonging, passed by Gov. 

Markham. Nov. 7, 1696. 
' The treaty of peace between France and England, made 

at Ryewick. 7 Corps Dipl. part a. p. 399. > Hem. 

Am. 89. 
(' The opinion and answer of the Lords of trade to the memo^ 

rial of the proprietors o( East N. Jersey. Sm. App. 

No. 10. 
s- The memorial of the proprietors of East New Jersey to 

the Lords ot trade. Sm. App. No. ii. 
The petition of the proprietors of East and West Nrw 

Jersey to the Lords justices of England. Sm. App. 

No. I J, 
A confirmation of the boundary between the colonies of 

New York and Connecticut, by the crown. 
■■ The memorial of the proprietors of East and West New 

Jersey to the king. Sm. App. No. 14, 
>. Representations of the Lords of trade to the Lords jusi 

Sm. App. No. 18. 
A treaty with the Indians. 
s. Report of Lords of trade to king William, of draughts 1 

commission and instructions tor a governor ot N, Jer- 
sey. Sm. N. J- 161, 
*- Surrender from the proprietors of E. and W. N. Jersey, of 

their pretended right of government to her majesty 

Queen Anne Sm. N J. 111. 
'• The Queen's acceptance of the surrender of gov 


East and West Jersey. Sm. N. J. : 


1. Instructions to lord Combury. Sm. N. J, »30. 

Notes on Virginia 259 

A commission from Queen Anne to Lord Combury, to be iTost Dec. 5. 

captain general and governor in chief of New Jersey. 

Sm. N. J. 320. 
Recognition by the cotmcil of proprietors of the true «703. June »?. 

boundary of the deeds of Sept. 10. and Oct. 10, 1677 

(New Jersey). Sm. N. J. 96. 
Indian deeds for the lands above the falls of the Delaware 1703. 

in West Jersey. 
Indian deed for the lands at the head of Rankolcus river, 

in West Jersey. 
A proclamation by Queen Anne, for settling and ascer- 1704, June xS. 

taining the current rates of foreign coins in America. 

Sm. N. J. a8i. 
Additional instructions to Lord Combury. Sm. N. S. 235. 1705* May 3. 
Additional instructions to Lord Combury. Sm. N. J. 258. 1707, May 3. 
Additional instructions to Lord Combury. *Sm. N.J. 259. 1707, Nov. ao. 
An answer by the cormcil of proprietors for the western 1707. 

division of N. Jersey, to questions proposed to them by 

Lord Combury. Sm. N. J. 285. 
Instructions to Colonel Vetch in his negotiations with the 1708-9. Feb. 

governors of America. Sm. N. J. 364. 
Instructions to the governor of New Jersey and New » 708-9, Feb 

York. Sm. N. J. 361. '*• 

^arl of Dartmouth's letter to governor Htmter. 1710, Aug. 

Verniers propositions de la Prance. 6. Lamberty, 669, 1771. Apr. ai. 

2 Mem. Am. 341. 
I^^ponses de la France aux demandes preliminaries de la '7'*» ^*- *• 

Grande Bretagne. 6 Lamb. 681. 2 Mem. Amer. 344. 
r>eniandes preliminaries plus particulieres de la Grande- Sept. 27. 

Bretagne, avec les r^ponses. 2 Mem. de I'Am. 346. '^"* oct. 8. 

^'acceptation de la part de la Grande-Bretagne. 2 Mem. Sept. 37. 

Am. 356. '^"*Ort~8~ 

t^e Queen's instructions to the Bishop of Bristol and Earl j^^, i>e^. ,3 

of Stafford, her plenipotentiaries, to treat for a general 

peace. 6 Lamberty, 744. 2 Mem. Am. 358. 
A memorial of Mr. St. John to the Marquis de Torci, with May 24- 

regard to North America, to commerce, and to the sus- '^"' ,^^ 

pension of arms. 7. Recueil de Lamberty 161, 2 Mem. 

de I'Amer. 376. 
R^ponse du roi de France au mdmoire de Londres. 7. «7xa» June »o. 

Lamberty, p. 163. 2 Mem. Am. 380. 

26o Jefferson^s Works 

171a, Aug. 19- Traits pour une suspension d'armes entre Lotiis XIV. roi 

de Prance, and Anne, reine de la Grande-Bretagne. 

fait k Paris. 8. Corps Diplom. part i. p. 308. a MeoL 

d'Am. 104. 
171 3. Sept. 10. Offere of Prance to England, demands of England, and 

the answers of Prance. 7. Rec. de Lamb. 461. 2 Mem. 

Am. 390. 
Mar. 31 Traits de paix et d'amiti6 entre Louis XIV. roi de Prance, 
Apr. II. ®* Anne, reine de la Grande-Bretagne, fait k Utrecht. 

15 Corps Diplomatique de Dumont, 339. id. Latin. 2 

Actes et memoires de la pais d' Utrecht, 457. id. Lat. 

Pr. a Mem. Am. 113. 
Mar 31. Traits de navigation et de commerce entre Louis XIV. roi 
"''^* April II ^® Prance, et Anne, reine de la Grande-Bretagne. Pait 

k Utrecht. 8 Corps Dipl. part i. p. 345. a Mem. de V 

Am. 137. 
1736. A treaty with the Indians. 

1728, Jan. The petition of the representatives of the province of New 

Jersey, to have a distinct governor. Sm. N. J. 431. 
173a, G a. Deed of release by the government of Connecticut to that 

of New York. 
173a. June 9. The charter granted by George II. for Georgia. 4 Mem. 

20. 5 Uco. a. J t. A ^ 

de 1 Am. 617. 

* 7 33 . Petition of Lord Pairf ax , that a commission might issue for 

running and marking the dividing line between his dis- 
trict and the province of Virginia. 

1733. Nov. ap. Order of the king in council for commissioners to sur\'ey 

and settle the said dividing line between the proprietar>' 
and royal territory. 

1736. Auk- 5 Report of the Lords of trade relating to the separating the 

government of the province of New Jersey from New 
York. Sm. N. J. 423. 

1737, Au«. 10 Survey and report of the commissioners appointed on the 

part of the crown to settle the line between the crown 
and Lord Fairfax. 

1737. Aug. II. Survey and report of the commissioners appointed on the 

part of Lord Pairf ax to settle the line between the crown- 
and him. 

1738, Dec. ai. Order of reference of the surveys between the crown an<^ 

Lord Pairfax to the council for plantation affairs. 
1744. June. Treaty with the Indians of the six nations at Lancaster. 

Notes on Virginia 261 

Report of the council for plantation affairs, fixing the x745t Apr. 6. 
head springs of Rappahanoc and Potomac, and a com- 
mission to extend the line. 

Order of the king in council confirming the said report of ''^5» ^p*" '*• 
the council for plantation affairs. 

Articles preliminaries pour parvenir k la paix, sign^s k Aix- ''48, Apr. 30. 
la-Chapelle entre les ministres de France, de la Grande- 
Bretagne, et des Provinces-Unies des Pays-Bas. 2 Mem. 
de TAm. 159. 

Declaration des ministres dc France, de la Grande-Bre- 1748, May ai. 
tagne, et des Provinces-Unies des Pays-Bas, pour recti- 
fier les articles I. et II. des preliminaries. 2 Mem. Am. 

The general and definitive treaty of peace concluded at 1748. Oct. 7- 
Aix-la-Chapelle. Lon. Mag. 1748. 503. French. 2 '*' " * "* 
Mem. Am. 169. 

A treaty with the Indians. *'^*' 

A conference between governor Bernard and Indian '7S8. Aug. 7. 
nations at Burlington. Sm. N. J. 449. 

A conference between governor Denny, governor Bernard, '7s8. Oct. 8. 
and others, and Indian nations at Easton. Sm. N. J. 

The capitulation of Niagara. nsQ. July 25. 

The king's proclamation promising lands to soldiers. ,y^_ 

The definitive treaty concluded at Paris. Lon. Mag. 1763. ,763, Feb. 10. 

149. 30.3. 

A proclamation for regulating the cessions made by the 1763. Oct. 7. 

last treaty of peace. Guth. Geogr. Gram. 623. ^' 

The king's proclamation against settling on any lands on 1763. 

the waters westward of the Alleghany. 
Deed from the six nations of Indians to William Trent, and «768, Nov. 3. 

others, for lands betwixt the Ohio and Monongahela. 

View of the title to Indiana. Phil. Steiner and Cist. 

Deed from the six nations of Indians to the crown for cer- »768, Nov. s. 

tain lands and settling a boundary. M. S. 


The preceding sheets have been submitted to my 
friend Mr. Qiarles Thompson, Secretary of Congress; 
he has furnished me with the following observations, 
which have too much merit not to be commimicated : 

(A.) p. 22. Besides the three channels of com- 
mtmication mentioned between the western waters 
and the Atlantic, there are two others to which the 
Pennsylvanians are turning their attention; one 
from Presque Isle, on Lake Erie, to Le Bceuf , down 
the Alleghany to Kiskiminitas, then up the Kliski- 
minitas, and from thence, by a small portage, to 
Jimiata, which falls into the Susquehanna; the 
other from Lake Ontario to the East Branch of the 
Delaware, and down that to Philadelphia. Both 
these are said to be very practicable; and, consider- 
ing the enterprising temper of the Pennsylvanians, 
and particularly of the merchants of Philadelphia, 
whose object is concentred in promoting the com- 
merce and trade of one city, it is not improbable but 
one or both of these commimications will be open 
and improved. 

(B.) p. 25. The reflections I was led into on 
viewing this passage of the Potomac through the 
Blue Ridge were, that this cotmtry must have suf- 
fered some violent convulsion, and that the face of it 
must have been changed from what it probably was 

«64 Jefferson's Works 

some centuries ago; that the broken and ragged 
faces of the mountain on each side the river; the 
tremendous rocks, which are left with one end fixed 
in the precipice, and the other jutting out, and seem- 
ingly ready to fall for want of support, the bed of the 
river for several miles below obstructed, and filled 
with the loose stones carried from this mound; in 
short, ever\-thing on which you cast your eye evi- 
dently demonstrates a disrujjture and breach in the 
mountain, and that, before this happened, what is 
now a fruitful vale, was formerly a great lake or col- 
lection of water, which possibly might have here 
formed a mighty cascade, or had its vent to the 
ocean by the Susquehanna, where the Blue Ridge 
seems to terminate. Besides this, there are other 
parts of this country which bear evident traces of a 
like convulsion. From the best accounts I have been 
able to obtain, the place where the Delaware now 
flows through the Kittatinney mountain, which is 
a continuation of what is called the North Ridge, or 
mountain, was not its original course, but that it 
passed through what is now called " the Wind-gap," 
a place several miles to the westward, and about a 
hundred feet higher than the present bed of the 
river. This Wind-gap is about a mile broad, and the 
stones in it such as seem to have been washed for ages 
by water running over them. Should this have been 
the case, there must have been a large lake behind 
that mountain , and by some uncommon swell in the 
waters, or by some convulsion of nature, the river , 

Appendix 265 

must have opened its way through a different part 
of the mountain, and meeting there with less ob- 
struction, carried away with it the opposing mounds 
of earth, and deluged the country below with the 
immense collection of waters to which this new pas- 
sage gave vent. There are still remaining, and daily 
discovered, innumerable instances of such a deluge 
on both sides of the river, after it passed the hills 
above the falls of Trenton, and reached the Cham- 
paign. On the New Jersey side, which is flatter than 
the Pennsylvania side, all the cotmtry below Cros- 
wick hills seems to have been overflowed to the dis- 
tance of from ten to fifteen miles back from the river, 
and to have acquired a new soil by the earth and 
clay brought down and mixed with the native sand. 
The spot on which Philadelphia stands evidently 
appears to be made ground. The different strata 
through which they pass in digging to water, the 
acorns, leaves, and sometimes branches, which are 
found above twenty feet below the surface, all seem 
to demonstrate this. I am informed that at York- 
town in Virginia, in the bank of York river, there are 
different strata of shells and earth, one above an- 
other, which seem to point out that the country 
there has imdergone several changes; that the sea 
has, for a succession of ages, occupied the place 
where dry land now appears; and that the ground 
has been suddenly raised at various periods. What 
a change would it make in the country below, should 
the moxmtains at Niagara, by any accident, be cleft 


asunder, and a passage suddenly opened to drain off 
the waters of Erie and the upper lakes ! While rumi- 
nating on these subjects, I have often been hurried 
away by fancy, and led to imagine, that what is 
now the bay of Mexico, was once a champaign 
country; and that from the point or cape of Florida, 
there was a continued range of mountains through 
Cuba, Hispaniola. Porto Rico, Martinique, Guada- 
loupe, Barbadoes, and Trinidad, till it reached the 
coast of America, and formed the shores which 
bounded the ocean, and guarded the country' behind; 
that by come convulsion or shock of nature, the sea 
had broken through these mounds, and deluged that 
vast plain, till it reached the foot of the Andes; that 
being there heaped up by the trade winds, always 
blowing from one quarter, it had found its way back, 
as it continues to do, through the Gulf between 
Florida and Cuba, carrying with it the loam and 
sand it may have scooped from the country it had 
occupied, part of which it may have deposited on the 
shores of North America, and with part formed the 
banks of Newfoundland. But these are only the 
visions of fancy. 

(3) P- 5^- There is a plant, or weed, called the 
Jamestown weed,' of a very singular quality. The 
late Dr. Bond informed me, that he had under his 
care a patient, a young girl, who had put the seeds 
of this plant into her eye, which dilated the pupil 
to such a degree, that she could see in the dark, but 

' Datura [>ericarpiia erectis ovatis, Linn. 

Appendix 267 

in the light was almost blind. The effect that the 
leaves had when eaten by a ship's crew that arrived 
at Jamestown, are well known/ 

(4.) p. 93. Monsieur Btiffon has indeed given an 
aflSicting picture of human nature in his description 
of the man of America. But sure I am there never 
was a picture more tmlike the original. He grants 
indeed that his stature is the same as that of the man 
of Europe. He might have admitted, that the Iro- 
quois were larger, and the Lenopi, or Delawares, 
taller than people in Europe generally are. But he 
says their organs of generation are smaller and 
weaker than those of Europeans. Is this a fact ? I 
believe not; at least it is an observation I never 
heard before. — "They have no beard." Had he 
known the pains and trouble it costs the men to 
pluck out by the roots the hair that grows on their 
faces, he would have seen that nature had not been 
deficient in that respect. Every nation has its cus- 
toms. I have seen an Indian beau, with a looking- 
glass in his hand, examining his face for hours to- 
gether, and plucking out by the roots every hair he 
could discover, with a kind of tweezer made of a 
piece of fine brass wire, that had been twisted round 
a stick, and which he used with great dexterity. — 
"They have no ardor for their females." It is true 
they do not indulge those excesses, nor discover that 
fondness which is customary in Europe; but this is 

* An instance of temporary imbecility produced by them is men- 
tioned, Beverl. H. of Virg: b. 2, c. 4. 

afiS Jefferson's Works 

not owing to a defect in nature but to manners. 
Their soul is wholly bent upon war. This is what 
procures them glory among the men, and makes 
them the admiration of the women. To this they 
are educated from their earliest youth. When they 
pursue game with ardor, when they bear the fatigues 
of the chase, when they sustain and suffer patiently 
hunger and cold ; it is not so much for the sake of the 
game they pursue, as to convince their parents and 
the council of the nation that they arc fit to be en- 
rolled in the number of the warriors. The songs of 
the women, the dance of the warriors, the sage coun- 
sel of the chiefs, the tales of the old, the triumphal 
entry of the warriors returning with success from 
battle, and the respect paid to those who distinguish 
themselves in war, and in subduing their enemies; 
in short, everything they see or hear tends to inspire 
them with an ardent desire for military fame. If a 
young man were to discover a fondness for women 
before he has been to war, he would become the con- 
tempt of the men, and the scorn and ridicule of the 
women. Or were he to indulge himself with a cap- 
tive taken in war, and much more were he to offer 
violence in order to gratify his lust, he would incur 
indelible disgrace. The seeming frigidity of the men, 
therefore, is the effect of manners, and not a defect 
of nature. Besides, a celebrated warrior is oftener 
courted by the females, than he has occasion to court; 
and this is a point of honor which the men aim at. 

Appendix 269 

Instances similar to that of Ruth and Boaz* are not 
uncommon among them. For though the women 
are modest and diffident, and so bashftil that they 
seldom lift up their eyes, and scarce ever look a man 
full in the face, yet, being brought up in great sub- 
jection, custom and manners reconcile them to 
modes of acting, which, judged of by Europeans, 
would be deemed inconsistent with the rules of female 
decorum and propriety. I once saw a young widow, 
whose husband, a warrior, had died about eight days 
before, hastening to finish her grief, and who, by 
tearing her hair, beating her breast, and drinking 
spirits, made the tears flow in great abundance, in 
order that she might grieve much in a short space of 
time, and be married that evening to another young 
warrior. The manner in which this was viewed by 
the men and women of the tribe, who stood round, 
silent and solemn spectators of the scene, and the 
indifference with which they answered my question 
respecting it, convinced me that it was no unusual 
custom, I have known men advanced in years, 
whose wives were old and past child-bearing, take 
young wives, and have children, though the practice 
of polygamy is not common. Does this savor of 
frigidity, or want of ardor for the female? Neither 
do they seem, to be deficient in natural affection. I 
have seen both fathers and mothers in the deepest 

* When Boaz had eaten and drank, and his heart was merry, he went 
to lie down at the end of the heap of com ; and Ruth came softly, and 
uncovered his feet, and laid her down. Ruth, iii. 7. 

27° Jefferson's Works 

affliction, when their children have been danger- 
ously ill; though I believe the affection is stronger 
in the descending than the ascending scale, and 
though custom forbids a father to grieve immoder- 
ately for a son slain in battle, "That they are tim- 
orous and cowardly," is a character with which there 
is little reason to charge them, when we recollect the 

manner in which the Iroquois met Monsieur , 

who marched into their country; in which the old 
men, who scorned to fly, or to survive the capture of 
their town, braved death, like the old Romans in the 
time of the Gauls, and in which they soon after re- 
venged themselves by sacking and destroying Mon- 
treal. But above all, the unshaken fortitude with 
which they bear the most excruciating tortures and 
death when taken prisoners, ought to exempt them 
from that character. Much less are they to be 
characterized as a people of no vivacity, and who 
are excited to action or motion only by the calls of 
hunger and thirst. Their dances in which they so 
much delight, and which to an European would be 
the most severe exercise, fully contradict this, not to 
mention their fatiguing marches, and the toil they 
voluntarily and cheerfully undergo in their military 
expeditions, It is true, that when at home, they 
do not employ themselves in labor or the culture of 
the soil; but this again is the effect of customs and 
manners, which have assigned that to the province 
of the women. But it is said, they are averse to 
society and a social life. Can anything be more 

Appendix 271 

inapplicable than this to a people who always live in 
towns or clans? Or can they be said to have no 
"republic," who conduct all their aflfairs in national 
councils, who pride themselves in their national 
character, who consider an insult or injury done to 
an individual by a stranger as done to the whole, 
and resent it accordingly? In short, this picture is 
not applicable to any nation of Indians I have ever 
known or heard of in North America. 

(S-) P- 134- As far as I have been able to learn, 
the country from the sea coast to the Alleghany, and 
from the most southern waters of James river up to 
Patuxen river, now in the State of Maryland, was 
occupied by three different nations of Indians, each 
of which spoke a different language, and were under 
separate and distinct governments. What the orig- 
inal or real names of those nations were, I have not 
been able to learn with certainty; but by us they 
are distinguished by the names of Powhatans, Man- 
xiahoacs, and Monacans, now commonly called Tus- 
caroras. The Powhatans, who occupied the country 
from the sea shore up to the falls of the rivers, were 
a powerful nation, and seem to have consisted of 
seven tribes, five on the western and two on the 
eastern shore. Each of these tribes was subdivided 
into towns, families, or clans, who lived together. 
All the nations of Indians in North America lived in 
the hunter state, and depended for subsistence on 
htmting, fishing, and the spontaneous fruits of the 
earth, and a kind of grain which was planted and 


Jefferson's Works 

gathered by the women, and is now known by the 
name of Indian com. Long potatoes, pumpkins of 
various kinds, and squashes, were also found in use 
among them. They had no flocks, herds, or tamed 
animals of any kind. Their government is a kind 
of patriarchal confederacj'. Every town or family 
has a chief, who is distinguished by a particular title, 
and whom we commonly call "Sachem." The sev- 
eral towns or families that compose a tribe, have a', 
chief who presides over it, and the several tribes 
composing a nation have a chief who presides over 
the whole nation. These chiefs are generally men 
advanced in years, and distinguished by their pru- 
dence and abilities in council. The matters which 
merely regard a town or family are settled by the 
chief and principal men of the town; those which 
regard a tribe, such as the appointment of head war- 
riors or captains, and settling differences between 
different towns and families, are regulated at a meet^, 
ing or council of the chiefs from the several towns; 
and those which regard the whole nation, such as tl 
making war, concluding peace, or forming alliant 
with the neighboring nations, are deliberated on and' 
determined in a national council composed of the 
chiefs of the tribe, attended by the head warriors and 
a number of the cliiefs from the towns, who are his 
counsellors. In every town there is a council hoi 
where the chief and old men of the town assemblt 
when occasion requires, and consult what is pro] 
to be done. Every tribe has a fixed place for 





Appendix 273 

chiefs of the towns to meet and constdt on the busi- 
ness of the tribe; and in every nation there is what 
they call the central cotincil house, or central council 
fire, where the chiefs of the several tribes, with the 
principal warriors, convene to consult and determine 
on their national affairs. When any matter is pro- 
posed in the national coimcil, it is common for the 
chiefs of the several tribes to consult thereon apart 
with their cotmsellors, and when they have agreed, to 
deliver the opinion of the tribe at the national coun- 
cil; and, as their government seems to rest wholly 
on persuasion, they endeavor, by mutual conces- 
sions, to obtain unanimity. Such is the government 
that still subsists among the Indian nations border- 
ing upon the United States. Some historians seem 
to think that the dignity of office of Sachem was 
hereditary. But that opinion does not appear to be 
well foxmded. The sachem or chief of the tribe 
seems to be by election. And sometimes persons 
who are strangers, and adopted into the tribe, are 
promoted to this dignity, on account of their abili- 
ties. Thus on the arrival of Captain Smith, the 
first founder of the colony of Virginia, Opechanca- 
nough, who was Sachem or chief of the Chickahom- 
inies, one of the tribes of the Powhatans, is said to 
have been of another tribe, and even of another na- 
tion, so that no certain account could be obtained of 
his origin or descent. The chiefs of the nation seem 
to have been by a rotation among the tribes. Thus 
ij^hen Captain Smith, in the year 1609, questioned 

VOL. II — 18 


Jefferson's Works 


Powhatan (who was the chief of the nation, and 
whose proper name is said to have been Wahun- 
sonacock) respecting the succession, the old chief 
informed him, "that he was very old, and had seen 
the death of all his people thrice;' that not one of 
these generations were then living except himself; 
that he must soon die, and the succession descend 
in order to his brothers Opichapan,0pechancanough, 
and Catataugh, and then to his two sisters, and 
their two daughters." But these were appellations 
designating the tribes in the confederacy. For the 
persons named are not his real brothers, but the 
chiefs of different tribes. Accordingly in 1618, when 
Powhatan died, he was succeeded by Opichapan, 
and after his decease, Opechancanough became chief 
of the nation. I need only mention another in- 
stance to show that the chiefs of the tribes claimed 
this kindred with the head of the nation. In 1622, 
when Raleigh Crashaw was with Japazaw, the 
Sachem or chief of the Potomacs, Opechancanough, 
who had great power and influence, being the second 
man in the nation, and next in succession to Opicha- 

' This is one generation more than the poet ascribes to the hie of 

T6 d' ede duo men geneai meropfi anthr&p6n 
Epbthiath oi oi prosthen ama traphen ed' egneonto 
En PulO egatbee, meta de tritatoisin anassen. 

II. Horn. II. 15a 
Two generations now had passed away, 
Wise by his rules, and happy by his sway; 
Two ages o'er his native realm he reign'd, 
And now th' example of the third remained. PoH 

Appendix 275 

pan, and who was a bitter but secret enemy to the 
English, and wanted to engage his nation in a war 
with them, sent two baskets of beads to the Potomac 
chief, and desired him to kill the Englishman that 
was with him. Japazaw replied, that the English 
were his friends, and Opichapan his brother, and that 
therefore there shotdd be no blood shed between 
them by his means. It is also to be observed, that 
when the English first came over, in all their con- 
ferences with any of the chiefs, they constantly heard 
him make mention of his brother, with whom he 
must consult, or to whom he referred them, meaning 
thereby either the chief of the nation or the tribes 
in confederacy. The Manahoacks are said to have 
been a confederacy of fotir tribes, and in alliance 
with the Monacans, in the war which they were car- 
rying on against the Powhatans. 

To the northward of these there was another pow- 
erftil nation which occupied the country from the 
head of the Chesapeake bay up to the Kittatinney 
mountain, and as far eastward as Connecticut river, 
comprehending that part of New York which lies 
between the Highlands and the ocean, all the State 
of New Jersey, that part of Pennsylvania which is 
watered, below the range of the Kittatinney moun- 
tains, by the rivers or streams falling into the Dela- 
ware, and the county of Newcastle in the State of 
Delaware, as far as Duck creek. It is to be observed, 
that the nations of Indians distinguished their coun- 
tries one from another by nattiral boundaries, such 

276 Jefferson's Works 

as ranges of moxmtains or streams of water. But as 
the heads of rivers frequently interlock, or approach 
near to each other, as those who live upon a stream 
claim the country watered by it, they often en- 
croached on each other, and this is a constant source 
of war between the different nations. The nation 
occupying the tract of country last described, called 
themselves Lenopi. The French writers call them 
Loups; and among the English they are now com- 
monly called Delawares. This nation or confed- 
eracy consisted of five tribes, who all spoke one 
language, i. The Chihohocki, who dwelt on the 
west side of the river now called Delaware, a name 
which it took from Lord De la War, who put into 

it on his passage from Virginia in the year , 

but which by the Indians was called Chihohocki. 
2. The Wanami, who inhabit the country called New 
Jersey, from the Rariton to the sea. 3. The Mun- 
sey, who dwelt on the upper streams of the Dela- 
ware, from the Kittatinney mountains down to the 
Lehigh or western branch of the Delaware. 4, The 
Wabinga, who are sometimes called River Indians, 
sometimes Mohickanders, and who had their dwell- 
ing between the west branch of Delaware and Hud- 
son's river, from the Kittatinney Ridge down to the 
Rariton; and 5. The Mahiccon, or Manhattan, who 
occupied Staten Island, York Island (which from its 
being the principal seat of their residence was form- 
erly called Manhattan), Long Island, and that part 
of New York and Connecticut which lies between 

Appendix ^77 

Hudson and Connecticut rivers, from the highland, 
which is a continuation of the Kittatinney Ridge 
down to the Sound. This nation had a close alliance 
with the Shawanese, who lived on the Susquehanna 
and to the westward of that river, as far as the Alle- 
ghany mountains, and carried on a long war with 
another powerful nation or confederacy of Indians, 
which lived to the north of them between the Kit- 
tatinney motmtains or highlands, and the Lake On- 
tario, and who call themselves Mingoes, and are 
called by the French writers Iroquois, by the English 
the Five Nations, and by the Indians to the south- 
ward; with whom they were at war, Massawomacs. 
This war was carrying on in its greatest fury, when 
Captain Smith first arrived in Virginia. The Mingo 
warriors had penetrated down the Susquehannah to 
the mouth of it. In one of his exctirsions up the 
bay, at the mouth of Susquehannah, in 1608, Cap- 
tain Smith met with six or seven of their canoes full 
of warriors, who were coming to attack their enemies 
in the rear. In an excursion which he had made a 
few weeks before, up the Rappahannock, and in 
which he had a skirmish with a party of the Mana- 
hoacs, and taken a brother of one of their chiefs 
prisoner, he first heard of this nation. For when he 
asked the prisoner why his nation attacked the 
English? the prisoner said, because his nation had 
heard that the English came from tmder the world to 
take their world from them. Being asked, how many 
worlds he knew ? he said, he knew but one, which was 


Jefferson's Works 


under the sky that covered him, and which con- 
sisted of Powhatans, the Manakins, and the Massa- 
womacs. Being questioned concerning the latter, 
he said, they dwelt on a great water to the North, 
that they had many boats, and so many men, that 
they waged war with all the rest of the world. The 
Mingo confederacj' then consisted of five tribes; 
three who are the elder, to wit, the Senecas, who live 
to the West, the Mohawks to the East, and the 
Onondagas between them; and two who are called 
the younger tribes, namely, the Cayugas and Oneidas. 
All these tribes speak one language, and were then 
united in a close confederacy, and occupied the tract 
of country from the east end of Lake Erie to Lake 
Champlain, and from the Kittatinney and High- 
lands to the Lake Ontario and the river Cadaraqui, 
or St. Lawrence. They had some time before that. 
carried on a war with a nation, who lived beyond the 
lakes, and were called Adirondacks. In this war 
they were worsted; but having made a peace with 
them, through the intercession of the French who 
were then settling Canada, they turned their arms 
against the Lenopi; and as this war was long and 
doubtful, they, in the course of it, not only exerted 
their whole force, but put in practice every measure 
which prudence or policy could devise to bring it to 
a successful issue. For this ptupose they bent their 
course down the Susquehannah, and warring with 
the Indians in their way, and having penetrated as 
far as the mouth of it, they, by the terror of their 

Appendix 279 

arms, engaged a nation, now known by the name of 
Nanticocks, Conoys, and Tuteloes, and who lived 
between Chesapeake and Delaware bays, and border- 
ing on the tribe of Chihohocki, to enter into an alli- 
ance with them. They also formed an alliance with 
the Monicans, and stimtilated them to a war with the 
Lenopi and their confederates. At the same time 
the Mohawks carried on a f xirious war down the Hud- 
son against the Mohiccons and River Indians, and 
compelled them to ptirohase a temporary and pre- 
carious peace, by acknowledging them to be their 
superiors, and paying an annual tribute. The 
Lenopi being surrotmded with enemies, and hard 
pressed, and having lost many of their warriors, were 
at last compelled to sue for peace, which was granted 
to them on the condition that they should put them- 
selves under the protection of the Mingoes, confine 
themselves to raising com, hunting for the sub- 
sistence of their families, and no longer have the 
power of making war. This is what the Indians call 
making them women. And in this condition the 
Lenopi were when William Penn first arrived and 
began the settlement of Pennsylvania in 1682. 

(6.) p. 135. From the figurative language of the 
Indians, as well as from the practice of those we are 
still acquainted with, it is evident that it was and 
still continues to be, a constant custom among the 
Indians to gather up the bones of the dead, and de- 
posit them in a particular place. Thus, when they 
make peace with any nation with whom they have 

aSo Jefferson's Works 

been at war, after burying the hatchet, they take up 
the belt of wampum, and say, " We now gather up 
all the bones of those who have been slain, and bury 
them," &c. See all the treaties of peace. Besides, 
it is customarj' when any of them die at a distance 
■ from home, to bury them, and afterwards to come 
and take up the bones and carry them home. At a 
treaty which was held at Lancaster with the Ss 
Nations, one of them died, and was buried in the 
woods a little distance from the town. Some time 
after a party came and took up the body, separated 
the flesh from the bones by boUing and scraping 
them clean, and carried them to be deposited in the 
sepulchres of their ancestors. The operation was so 
offensive and disagreeable, that nobody could come 
near them while they were performing it, 

(7.) p. 146. The Oswektchies. Connosedk,goes and 
Cohunnegagoes, or, as they are commonly called, 
Caghnewkgos, are of the Mingo or Six Nation In- 
dians, who, by the influence of the French mission- 
aries, have been separated from their nation, and 
induced to settle there. 

I do not know of what nation the Augqukgahs are, 
but suspect they are a family of the Senecas. 

The Nanticocks and Conoies were formerly of a 
nation that lived at the head of Chesapeake bay, and 
who, of late years, have been adopted into the Mingo 
or Iroquois confederacy, and make a seventh nation. 
The Monacans or Tuscaroras, who were taken into 
the confederacy in 1712, making the sixth. 

Appendix 281 

The Saponies are families of the Wanamies, who 
removed from New Jersey, and with the Mohiccons, 
Munsies, and Delawares, belonging to the Lenopi 
nation. The Mingos are a war colony from the Six 
Nations; so are the Cohunnewagos. 

Of the rest of the Northern tribes I never have been 
able to learn anything certain. But all accounts 
seem to agree in this, that there is a very powerful 
nation, distingtiished by a variety of names taken 
from the seyeral towns or families, but commonly 
called Tkwas or Ottawas, who speak one language, 
and live rotmd and on the waters that fall into the 
western lakes, and extend from the waters of the 
Ohio qtiite to the waters falling into Hudson's bay. 

No. II. 

In the summer of the year 1783, it was expected that the assembly 
of "N^rginia would call a Convention for the establishment of a Consti- 
tution. The following draught of a fundamental Constitution for the 
Commonwealth of Virginia was then prepared, with a design of being 
proposed in such Convention had it taken place. 

To the citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia, 
and all others whom it may concern, the delegates for 
the said commonwealth in Convention assembled, 
send greeting: 

It is known to you and to the world, that the gov- 
ernment of Great Britain, with which the American 
States were not long since connected, asstmied over 
them an authority tmwarrantable and oppressive; 
that they endeavored to enforce this authority by 

382 Jefferson's Works 

arms, and that the States of New Hampshire, MaJ 
chusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and 
Georgia, considering resistance, with all its train of 
horrors, as a lesser evil than abject submission, 
closed in the appeal to arms. It hath jileased the 
Sovereign Disposer of all human events to give to this 
appeal an issue favorable to the rights of the States; 
to enable them to reject forever all dependence on a 
government which had shown itself so capable of 
abusing the trusts reposed in it; and to obtain from 
that government a solemn and explicit acknowledg- 
ment that they are free, sovereign, and independent 
States. During the progress of that war, through 
which we had to labor for the establishment of ourJ 
rights, the legislature of the commonwealth of Vir« 
ginia found it necessary to make a temporary organi- ' 
zation of government for preventing anarchy, and 
pointing our efforts to the two important objects of 
war against our invaders, and peace and happiness 
among ourselves. But this, like all other acts of leg- 
islation, being subject to change by subsequent legis- 
latures, possessing equal powers with themselves ; i^ 
has been thought expedient, that it should receive^ 
those amendments which time and trial have sug- 
gested, and be rendered permanent by a power supe- 
rior to that of the ordinary legislature. The general 
assembly therefore of this State recommend it to the 
good people thereof, to choose delegates to meet in 

Appendix 283 

general convention, with powers to form a con- 
stitution of government for them, and to declare 
those fundamentals to which all our laws present 
and future shall be subordinate ; and, in compliance 
with this recommendation, they have thought proper 
to make choice of us, and to vest us with powers for 
this purpose. 

We, therefore, the delegates, chosen by the said 
good people of this State for the purpose aforesaid, 
and now assembled in general convention, do in exe- 
cution of the authority with which we are invested, 
establish the following constitution and ftmdamen- 
tals of government for the said State of Virginia : 

The said State shall forever hereafter be governed 
as a commonwealth. 

The powers of government shall be divided into 
three distinct departments, each of them to be con- 
fided to a separate body of magistracy ; to wit, those 
which are legislative to one, those which are judici- 
ary to another, and those which are executive to 
another. No person, or collection of persons, being 
of one of these departments, shall exercise any power 
properly belonging to either of the others, except in 
the instances hereinafter expressly permitted. 

The legislature shall consist of two brancjies, the 
one to be called the House of Delegates, the other the 
Senate, and both together the General Assembly. 
The concurrence of both of these, expressed on three 
several readings, shall be necessary to the passage 
of a law. 


Jefferson's Works 

Delegates for the general assembly shall be chosen 
on the last Monday of November in every year. But 
if an election cannot be concluded on that day, it 
may be adjourned from day to day till it can be con- 

The number of delegates which each county ma] 
send shall be in proportion to the number of its qu! 
fied electors ; and the whole number of delegates for 
the State shall be so proportioned to the whole num- 
ber of qualified electors in it, that they shall never 
exceed three hundred, nor be fewer than one hun- 
dred. Whenever such excess or deficiency shall take 
place, the House of Delegates so deficient or excessive 
shall, notwithstanding this, continue in being during 
its legal term; but they shall, during that term, re- 
adjust the proportion, so as to bring their number 
within the limits before mentioned at the ensuing 
election. If any county be reduced in its qualified 
electors below the number authorized to send one 
delegate, let it be annexed to some adjoining county. 

For the election of senators, let the several counties 
be allotted by the senate, from time to time, into 
such and so many districts as they shall find best 
and let each county at the time of electing its d( 
gates, choose senatorial electors, qualified as thi 
selves are. and four in number for each delegate their 
county is entitled to send, who shall convene, and 
conduct themselves, in such manner as the legisla- 
ture shall direct, with the senatorial electors from the 
other counties of their district, and then choose, by 


Appendix 285 

ballot, one senator for every six delegates which their 
district is entitled to choose. Let the senatorial dis- 
tricts be divided into two classes, and let the mem- 
bers elected for one of them be dissolved at the first 
ensuing general election of delegates, the other at the 
next, and so on alternately forever. 

All free male citizens, of full age, and sane mind, 
who for one year before shall have been resident in 
the cotmty, or shall through the whole of that time 
have possessed therein real property of the value of 

; or shall for the same time have 

been enrolled in the militia, and no others, shall have 
a right to vote for delegates for the said cotmty, and 
for senatorial electors for the district. They shall 
give their votes personally, and viva voce. 

The general assembly shall meet at the place to 
which the last adjournment was, on the forty-second 
day after the day of election of delegates, and thence- 
forward at any other time or place on their own ad- 
journment, till their office expires, which shall be on 
the day preceding that appointed for the meeting of 
the next general assembly. But if they shall at any 
tinie adjourn for more than one year, it shall be as if 
they had adjourned for one year precisely. Neither 
house, without the concurrence of the other, shall 
adjourn for more than one week, nor to any other 
place than the one at which they are sitting. The 
governor shall also have power, with the advice of 
the coimcil of State, to call them at any other 
time to the same place, or to a different one, if that 

a86 Jefferson's Works 

shall have become, since the last adjournment, dan- 
gerous from an enemy, or from infection. 

A majority of either house shall be a quorum, and 
shall be requisite for doing business; but any smaller 
proportion which from time to time shall be thought 
expedient by the respective houses, shall be sufficient 
to call for, and to punish, their non-attending mem- 
bers, and to adjourn themselves for any time not 
exceeding one week. 

The members, during their attendance on the gen- 
eral assembly, and for so long a time before and after 
as shall be necessary for travelling to and from the 
same, shall be privileged from all personal restraint 
and assault, and shall have no other privilege what- 
soever. They shall receive during the same time, 
daily wages in gold or silver, equal to the value of two 
bushels of wheat. This value shall be deemed one 
dollar by the bushel till the year 1790, in which, and 
in every tenth year thereafter, the general court, at 
their- first sessions in the year, shall cause a special 
jury, of the most respectable merchants and farmers, 
to be summoned, to declare what shall have been the 
averaged value of wheat during the last ten years; 
which averaged value shall be the measure of wages 
for the ten subsequent years. 

Of this general assembly, the treasurer, attorney 
general, register, ministers of the gospel, officers of 
the regular armies of this State, or of the United 
States, persons receiving salaries or emoluments from 
any power foreign to our confederacy, those who are 

Appendix 287 

not resident in the county for which they are chosen 
delegates, or districts for which they are chosen sena- 
tors, those who are not qualified as electors, persons 
who shall have committed treason, felony, or such 
other crime as would subject them to infamous ptm- 
ishment, or who shall have been convicted by due 
course of law of bribery or corruption, in endeavoring 
to procure an election to the said assembly, shall be 
incapable of being members. All others, not herein 
elsewhere excluded, who may elect, shall be capable 
of being elected thereto. 

Any member of the said assembly accepting any 
office of profit tmder this State, or the United States, 
or any of them, shall thereby vacate his seat, but 
shall be capable of being re-elected. 

Vacancies occasioned by such disqualifications, 
by death, or otherwise, shall be supplied by the elect- 
ors, on a writ from the speaker of the respective 

The general assembly shall not have power to in- 
fringe this constitution; to abridge the civil rights 
of any person on accotmt of his religious belief; to 
restrain him from professing and supporting that 
belief, or to compel him to contributions, other than 
those he shall have personally stipulated for the sup- 
port of that or any other; to ordain death for any 
crime but treason or mtirder, or military offences ; to 
pardon, or give a power of pardoning persons duly 
convicted of treason or felony, but instead thereof 
they may substitute one or two new trials, and no 

a88 Jefferson's Works 

more ; to pass laws for punishing actions done before 
the existence of such laws; to pass any bill of at- 
tainder of treason or felony; to prescribe torture in 
any case whatever; nor to permit the introduction 
of any more slaves to reside in this State, or the con- 
tinuance of slavery beyond the generation which 
shall be living on the thirty-first day of December, 
one thousand eight hundred; all persons bom after 
that day being hereby declared free. 

The general assembly shall have power to sever 
from this State all or any parts of its territory west- 
ward of the Ohio, or of the meridian of the mouth of 
the Great Kanhaway, and to cede to Congress one 
hundred square miles of territory in any other part 
of this State, exempted from the jurisdiction and 
government of this State so long as Congress shall 
hold their sessions therein, or in any territory adja- 
cent thereto, which may be tendered to them by any 
other State. 

They shall have power to appoint the sp)eakers of 
their respective houses, treasurer, auditors, attorney 
general, register, all general officers of the militarj' 
their own clerks and sergeants, and no other officers, 
except where, in other parts of this constitution, si 
appointment is expressly given them. 

The executive powers shall be exercised by a Gffo^ 
ernor, who shall be chosen by joint ballot of both 
houses of assembly, and when chosen shall remain in 
office five years, and be ineligible a second time. 
During his term he shall hold no other office or emol- 


Appendix 280 

ument under this State, or any other State or power 
whatsoever. By executive powers, we mean no refer- 
ence to those powers exercised under our former 
government by the crown as of its prerogative, nor 
that these shall be the standard of what may or may 
not be deemed the rightful powers of the governor. 
We give him those powers only, which are necessary 
to execute the laws (and administer the government), 
and which are not in their nature either legislative or 
judiciary. The application of this idea must be left 
to reason. We do however expressly deny him the 
prerogative powers of erecting courts, offices, bor- 
oughs, corporations, fairs, markets, ports, beacons, 
Hght-houses, and sea-marks; of laying embargoes, of 
establishing precedence, of retaining within the State, 
or recalling to it any citizen thereof, and of making 
denizens, except so far as he may be authorized from 
time to time by the legislature to exercise any of 
those powers. The power of declaring war and con- 
cluding peace, of contracting alliances, of issuing let- 
ters of marque and reprisal, of raising and introduc- 
ing armed forces, of building armed vessels, forts, or 
strongholds, of coining money or regulating its value, 
of regulating weights and measures, we leave to be 
exercised under the authority of the confederation; 
but in all cases respecting them which are out of the 
said confederation, they shall be exercised by the 
governor, under the regulation of such laws as the 
legislatiire may think it expedient to pass. 

The whole military of the State, whether regidar, 

VOL. II — 19 

•9® Jefferson's Works 

or of militia, shall be subject to his directions; but 
he shall leave the execution of those directions to 
the general officers appointed by the legislature. 

His salary shall be fixed by the legislature at the 
session of the assembly in which he shall be appointed, 
and before such appointment be made; or if it be 
not then fixed, it shall be the same which his next 
predecessor in office was entitled to. In either case 
he may demand it quarterly out of any money which 
shall be in the public treasury; and it shall not be 
in the power of the legislature to give him less or 
more, either during his continuance in office, or after 
he shall have gone out of it. The lands, houses, and 
other things appropriated to the use of the governor, 
shall remain to his use during his continuance in 

A Council of State shall be chosen by joint ballot 
of both houses of assembly, who shall hold their 
offices seven yeais, and be ineligible a second time, 
and who, while they shall be of the said council, shall 
hold no other office or emolument under this State, 
or any other State or power whatsoever. Their 
duty shall be to attend and advise the governor 
when called on by him, and their advice in any case 
shall be a sanction to him. They shall also have 
power, and it shall be their duty, to meet at their 
own will, and to give their advice, though not re- 
quired by the governor, in cases where they shall 
think the public good calls for it. Their advice Eind 
proceedings shall be entered in books to be kept for 

Appendix 391 

that purpose, and shall be signed as approved or 
disapproved by the members present- These books 
shall be laid before either house of assembly when 
called for by them. The said cotmcil shall consist 
of eight members for the present; but their ntmi- 
bers may be increased or reduced by the legislattire, 
whenever they shall think it necessary; provided 
such reduction be made only as the appointments 
become vacant by death, resignation, disqualifica- 
tion, or regular deprivation. A majority of their 
actual number, and not fewer, shall be a quorum. 

They shall be allowed for the present each by 

the year, payable quarterly out of any money which 
shall be in the public treasury. Their salary, how- 
ever, may be increased or abated from time to time, 
at the discretion of the legislature; provided such 
increase or abatement shall not, by any ways or 
means, be made to affect either then, or at any 
future time, any one of those then actually in office. 
At the end of each quarter their salary shall be 
divided into equal portions by the ntmiber of days 
on which, during that quarter, a council has been 
held, or required by the governor, or by their own 
adjournment, and one of those portions shall be 
withheld from each member for every of the said 
days which, without cause allowed good by the 
board, he failed to attend, or departed before ad- 
journment without their leave. If no board should 
have been held during that qtiarter, there shall be 
no deduction. 

29^ Jefferson's Works 

They shall annually choose a President, who shall 
preside in council in the absence of the governor, 
and who, in case of his office becoming vacant by 
death or otherwise, shall have authority to exercise 
all his functions, till a new appointment be made, 
as he shall also in any interval during which the 
governor shall declare himself unable to attend to 
the duties of his office. 

The Judiciary powers shall be exercised by county 
courts and such other inferior courts as the legisla- 
ture shall think proper to continue or to erect, by 
three superior courts, to wit, a Court of Admiralty, 
a general Court of Common Law, and a High Court 
of Chancery; and by one Supreme Court, to be 
called the Court of Appeals. 

The judges of the high court of chancery, general 
court, and court of admiralty, shall be four in num- 
ber each, to be appointed by joint ballot of both 
houses of assembly, and to hold their offices during 
good behavior. While they continue judges, they 
shall hold no other office or emolument, under this 
State, or any other State or power whatsoever, 
except that they may be delegated to Congress, 
receiving no additional allowance. 

These judges, assembled together, shall consti- 
tute the Court of Appeals, whose business shall be 
to receive and determine appeals from the three 
superior courts, but to receive no original causes, 
except in the cases expressly permitted herein. 

A majority of the members of either of these courts, 

Appendix 293 

and not fewer, shall be a quortim. But in the Cotirt 
of Appeals nine members shall be necessary to do 
business. Any smaller ntmibers however may be 
authorized by the legislature to adjourn their re- 
spective courts. 

They shall be allowed for the present each 

by the year, payable quarterly out of any money 
which shall be in the public treasury. Their sala- 
ries, however, may be increased or abated, from 
time to time, at the discretion of the legislature, 
provided such increase or abatement shall not by 
any ways or means, be made to affect, either then, 
or at any future time, any one of those then actually 
in office. At the end of each quarter their salary 
shall be divided into equal portions by the number 
of days on which, during that quarter, their respec- 
tive courts sat, or should have sat, and one of these 
portions shall be withheld from each member for 
every of the said days which, without cause allowed 
good by his court, he failed to attend, or departed 
before adjournment without their leave. If no 
court should have been held during the quarter, 
there shall be no deduction. 

There shall, moreover, be a Court of Impeachments, 
to consist of three members of the Cotmcil of State, 
one of each of the superior courts of Chancery, Com- 
mon Law, and Admiralty, two members of the 
house of delegates and one of the Senate, to be 
chosen by the body respectively of which they are. 
Before this court any member of the three branches 

394 Jefferson's Works 

of government, that is to say, the governor, any 
member of the council, of the two houses of l^is- 
lature, or of the superior courts, may be impeached 
by the governor, the council, or either of the said 
houses or courts, and by no other, for such misbe- 
havior in office as would be sufficient to remove him 
therefrom; and the only sentence they shall have 
authority to pass shall be that of deprivation and 
future incapacity of office. Seven members shall 
be requisite to make a court, and two-thirds of those 
present must concur in the sentence. The offences 
cognizable by this court shall be cognizable by no 
other, and they shall be triers of the fact as well as 
judges of the law. 

The justices or judges of the inferior courts already 
erected, or hereafter to be erected, shall be appointed 
by the governor, on advice of the council of State, 
and shall hold their offices during good behavior, or 
the existence of their courts. For breach of the 
good behavior, they shall be tried according to the 
laws of the land, before the Court of Appeals, who 
shall be judges of the fact as well as of the law. The 
only sentence they shall have authority to pass shall 
be that of deprivation and future incapacity of office. 
and two-thirds of the members present must concur 
in this sentence. 

All courts shall appoint their own clerks, who 
shall hold their offices during good behavior, or the 
existence of their coiu^; they shall also appoint all 
other attending officers to continue during their 

Appendix 295 

pleasure. Clerks appointed by the supreme or 
superior cotirts shall be removable by their respec- 
tive courts. Those to be appointed by other courts 
shall have been previously examined, and certified 
to be duly qualified, by some two members of the 
general court, and shall be removable for breach 
of the good behavior by the Court of Appeals only, 
w6o shall be judges of the fact as well as of the law. 
Two-thirds of the members present must concur in 
the sentence. 

The justices or judges of the inferior courts may 
be members of the legislature. 

The judgment of no inferior court shall be final, 
in any civil case, of greater value than fifty bushels 
of wheat, as last rated in the general court for setting 
the allowance to the members of the general assem- 
bly, nor in any case of treason, felony, or other crime 
which should subject the party to infamous pun- 

In all causes depending before any court, other 
than those of impeachments, of appeals, and mili- 
tary courts, facts put in issue shall be tried by jury, 
and in all courts whatever witnesses shall give testi- 
mony viva voce in open court, wherever their attend- 
ance can be procured ; and all parties shall be allowed 
counsel and compulsory process for their witnesses. 

Fines, amercements, and terms of imprisonment 
left indefinite by the law, other than for contempts, 
shall be fixed by the jury, triers of the offence. 

The governor, two councillors of State, and a 

3p6 Jefferson's Works 

judge from each of the sup>erior Courts of Chancery, 
Common Law, and Admiralty, shall be a council to 
revise all bills which shall have passed both houses 
of assembl}-. in which council the governor, when 
present, shall preside. Every bill, before it becomes 
a law, shall be represented to this council, who shall 
have a right to advise its rejection, returning the 
bill, with their advice and reasons in writing, to the 
house in which it originated, who shall proceed to 
reconsider the said bill. But if after such recon- 
sideration, two-thirds of the house shall be of opin- 
ion that the bill should pass finally, they shall pass 
and send it, with the advice and written reasons of 
the said Council of Revision, to the other house, 
wherein if two-thirds also shall be of opinion it 
should pass finally, it shall thereupon become law; 
otherwise it shall not. 

If any bill, presented to the said council, be not, 
within one week (exclusive of the day of presenting 
it) returned by them, with their advice of rejection 
and reasons, to the house wherein it originated, or to 
the clerk of the said house, in case of its adjournment 
over the expiration of the week, it shall be law from 
the expiration of the week, and shall then be de- 
mandable by the clerk of the House of Delegates, 
to be filed of record in his office. 

The bills which they approve shall become law 
from the time of such approbation, and shall then 
be returned to, or demandable by, the clerk of the 
House of Delegates, to be filed of record in his office. 

Appendix ^97 

A bill rejected on advice of the Council of Revision 
may again be proposed, dtiring the same session of 
assembly, with such alterations as will render it con- 
formable to their advice. 

The members of the said Council of Revision shall 
be appointed from time to time by the board or court 
of which they respectively are. Two of the execu- 
tive and two of the judiciary members shall be 
requisite to do business ; and to prevent the evils of 
non-attendance, the board and courts may at any 
time name all, or so many as they will, of their 
members, in the particular order in which they 
wotild choose the duty of attendance to devolve 
from preceding to subsequent members, the preced- 
ing failing to attend. They shall have additionally 
for their services in this council the same allowance 
as members of assembly have. 

The confederation is made a part of this consti- 
tution, subject to such future alterations as shall be 
agreed to by the legislature of this State, and by 
all the other confederating States. 

The delegates to Congress shall be five in nximber ; 
any three of whom, and no fewer, may be a repre- 
sentation. They shall be appointed by joint ballot 
of both houses of assembly for any term not exceed- 
ing one year, subject to be recalled, within the term, 
by joint vote of both the said houses. They may 
at the same time be members of the legislative or 
judiciary departments, but not of the executive. 

The benefits of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall be 

998 Jefferson's Works 

extended, by the legislature, to every person withm 
this State, and without fee, and shall be so facilitated 
that no person may be detained in prison more 
than ten days after he shall have demanded and 
been refused such writ by the judge appointed by 
law. or if none be appointed, then by any judge of a 
superior court, nor more than ten days after such 
writ shall have been served on the person detaining 
him, and no order given, on due examination, for 
his remandment or discharge. 

The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. 

Printing presses shall be subject to no other re- 
straint than liableness to legal prosecution for false 
facts printed and published. 

Any two of the three branches of government con- 
curring in opinion, each by the voice of two- thirds of 
their whole existing number, that a convention is 
necessary for altering this constitution, or correcting 
breaches of it, they shall be authorized to issue writs 
to every county for the election of so many delegates 
as they are authorized to send to the general assem- 
bly, which elections shall be held, and writs returned, 
as the laws shall have provided in the case of elec- 
tions of delegates of assembly, mutatis mutandis, 
and the said delegates shall meet at the usual place 
of holding assemblies, three months after date of 
such writs, and shall be acknowledged to have equal 
powers with this present convention. The said writs 
shall be signed by all the members approving the 

Appendix 299 

To introduce this government, the following special 
and temporary provision is made. 

This convention being authorized only to amend 
those laws which constituted the form of govern- 
ment, no general dissolution of the whole system of 
laws can be supposed to have taken place; but all 
laws in force at the meeting of this convention, and 
not inconsistent with this constitution, remain in 
full force, subject to alterations by the ordinary 

The present general assembly shall continue till 
the forty-second day after the last Monday of Novem- 
ber in this present year. On the said last Monday 
of November in this present year, the several coim- 
ties shall by their electors qualified as provided by 
this constitution, elect delegates, which for the 

present shall be, in number, one for every 

militia of the said county, according to the latest 
returns in possession of the governor, and shall also 
choose senatorial electors in proportion thereto, 
which senatorial electors shall meet on the four- 
teenth day after the day of their election, at the 
court house of that county of their present district 
which would stand first in an alphabetical arrange- 
ment of their counties, and shall choose senators in 
the proportion fixed by this constitution. The 
elections and returns shall be conducted, in all cir- 
cumstances not hereby particularly prescribed, by 
the same persons and under the same forms as pre- 
scribed by the present laws in elections of senators 


Jefferson's Works 

and delegates of assembly. The said senators and 
delegates shall constitute the first general assembly 
of the new government, and shall specially apply 
themselves to the procuring an exact return from 
every county of the number of its qualified electors, 
and to the settlement of the number of delegates to 
be elected for the ensuing general assembly. 

The present governor shall continue in office to 
the end of the term for which he was elected. 

All other officers of every kind shall continue in 
office as they would have done had their appoint- 
ment been under this constitution, and new ones, 
where new are hereby called for, shall be appointed 
by the authority to which such appointment is 
referred. One of the present judges of the general 
court, he consenting thereto, shall by joint ballot of 
both houses of assembly, at their first meeting, be 
transferred to the High Court of Chancery, 

No. III. 

1 tibS 

An Act for establishing Religious Freedom, passed in the Assemblf < 
Virginia in the beginning of the year 1786. 

Well aware that Almighty God hath created 
mind free ; that all attempts to influence it by 
poral punishments or burdens, or by civil incapaci- 
tations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and 
meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the 
Holy Author of our relig[ion, who being Lord both 
of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by 

Appendix 301 

coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power 
to do; that the impious prestimption of legislators 
and riders, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being 
themselves but fallible and tminspired men have 
assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up 
their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only 
true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose 
them on others, hath established and maintained 
false religions over the greatest part of the world, 
and through all time ; that to compel a man to furnish 
contributions of money for the propagation of opin- 
ions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; 
that even the forcing him to support this or that 
teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving 
him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contri- 
butions to the particular pastor whose morals he 
wotild make his pattern, and whose powers he feels 
most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdraw- 
ing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which 
proceeding from an approbation of their personal 
conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest 
and unremitting labors for the instruction of man- 
kind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our 
religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics 
or geometry; that, therefore, the proscribing any 
citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying 
upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices 
of trust and emoltmient, imless he profess or re- 
nounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving 
him injiuiously of those privileges and advantages 


Jefferson's Works 

to which in common with his fellow citizens he has 
a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the 
principles of that very religion it is meant to en- 
courage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly 
honors and emoluments, those who will externally 
profess and conform to it; that though indeed these 
are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, 
yet neither are those innocent wlio lay the bait in 
their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to 
intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to 
restrain the profession or propagation of principles, 
on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a danger- 
ous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious 
liberty, because he being of course judge of that 
tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judg- 
ment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of 
others only as they shall square with or differ from 
his own ; that it is time enough for the rightful pur- 
poses of civil government, for its offices to interfere 
when principles break out into overt acts against 
peace and good order; and finally, that truth is 
great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is 
the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has 
nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human 
interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free 
argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous 
when it is permitted freely to contradict them. 

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That 
no man shall be compelled to frequent or support 
any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, 

Appendix 303 

nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or btir- 


thened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise 
suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; 
but that all men shall be free to profess, and by 
argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of 
religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, 
enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. 

And though we well know this Assembly, elected 
by the people for the ordinary purposes of legisla- 
tion only, have no power to restrain the acts of suc- 
ceeding assemblies, constituted with the powers 
equal to otu* own, and that therefore to declare this 
act irrevocable, would be of no effect in law, yet we 
are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights 
hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, 
and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal 
the present or to narrow its operation, such act will 
be an infringement of natural right. 

Jefferson's Works 


an appendix relative to the murder op 
Logan's family.' 

The " Notes on Virginia " were written, in Vii 
in the years 1781 and 1782, in answer to cei 
queries proposed to me by Monsieur de Marbois, then 
secretary of the French legation in the United States; 
and a manuscript copy was delivered to him. A few 
copies, with some additions, were afterwards, in 
1784, printed in Paris, and given to particular 
friends. In speaking of the animals of America, the 
theory of M. de BufEon, the Ahhi Raynal, and others 
presented itself to consideration. They have sup- 
posed there is something in the soil, climate, ana 
other circumstances of America, which occasions aiU'^ 
mal nature to degenerate, not excepting even the 
man, native or adoptive, physical or moral. This 
theory, so unfounded and degrading to one-third of 
the globe, was called to the bar of fact and reason. 
Among other proofs adduced in contradiction of 
this hypothesis, the speech of Logan, an Indian 
chief, delivered to Lord Dunmore in 1774, was pro- 
duced, as a specimen of the talents of the aboriginals 
of this country, and particularly of their eloquence; 
and it was believed that Europe had never produced 
anything superior to this morsel of eloquence. In 
order to make it intelligible to the reader, the trans- 
action, on which it was founded, was stated, as it 

' In connectioD with this appendix 
printed as Note in p. 8g. 

stter to Governor Hetujf^^H 

Appendix 3^5 

had been generally related in America at the time, 
and as I had heard it myself, in the circle of Lord 
Dtmmore, and the officers who accompanied him; 
and the speech itself was given as it had, ten years 
before the printing of that book, circtilated in the 
newspapers through all the then colonies, through 
the magazines of Great Britain, and periodical pub- 
lications of Europe. For three and twenty years it 
passed uncontradicted; nor was it ever suspected 
that it even admitted contradiction. In 1797, how- 
ever, for the first time, not only the whole transac- 
tion respecting Logan was affirmed in the public 
papers to be false, but the speech itself suggested to 
be a forgery, and even a forgery of mine, to aid 
me in proving that the man of America was equal 
in body and in mind, to the man of Europe. 
But wherefore the forgery; whether Logan's 
or mine, it would still have been American. I 
should indeed consult my own fame if the sugges- 
tion, that this speech is mine, were suffered to be 
believed. He would have just right to be proud 
who could with truth claim that composition. But 
it is none of mine; and I yield it to whom it is 

On seeing then that this transaction was brought 
into question, I thought it my duty to make particu- 
lar inquiry into its foundation. It was the more my 
duty, as it was alleged that, by ascribing to an indi- 
vidual therein named, a participation in the murder 
of Logan's family, I had done an injtiry to his char- 

VOL. II — 20 

3o6 Jefferson's Works 

acter, which it had not deserved. I had no knowl- 
edge personally of that individual. I had no reason 
to aim an injury at him. I only repeated what I had 
heard from others, and what thousands had heard 
and believed as well as myself; and which no one 
indeed, till then, had been known to question. 
Twenty-three years had now elapsed, since the trans- 
action took place. Many of those acquainted with 
it were dead, and the living dispersed to very dis- 
tant parts of the earth. Few of them were even 
known to me. To those however of whom I knew, 
I made application by letter; and some others, 
moved by a regard for truth and justice, were kind 
enough to come forward, of themselves, with their 
testimony. These fragments of evidence, the small 
remains of a mighty mass which time has consumed, 
are here presented to the public, in the form of let- 
ters, certificates, or affidavits, as they came to me. 
I have rejected none of these forms, nor required 
other solemnities from those whose motives and 
characters -were pledges of their truth. Historical 
transactions are deemed to be well vouched by the 
simple declarations of those who have borne a part 
in them ; and especially of persons having no interest 
to falsify or disfigure them. The world will now see 
whether they, or I, have injured Cresap, by believing 
Logan's charge against him; and they will decide 
between Logan and Cresap, whether Cresap was 
innocent, and Logan a calumniator? 

In order that the reader may have a clear concep- 

Appendix 3^7 

tion of the transaxrtions, to which the different parts 
of the following declarations refer, he must take 
notice that xhey establish four different murders, i. 
Of two Indians, a little above Wheeling. 2. Of 
others at Grave Creek, among whom were some of 
Logan's relations. 3. The massacre at Baker's bot- 
tom, on the Ohio, opposite the mouth of Yellow 
Creek, where were other relations of Logan. 4. Of 
those killed at the same place, coming in canoes to 
the relief of their friends. I place the numbers 1,2, 
3, 4, against certain paragraphs of the evidence, to 
indicate the particular mtirder to which the para- 
graph relates, and present also a small sketch or map 
of the principal scenes of these butcheries, for their 
more ready comprehension. 

Extract of a letter from the Honorable Judge Innes, of Frankfort in Ken-- 
tucky, to Thomas Jefferson, dated Kentucky, near Frankfort, March 
2d, 1799. 

I recollect to have seen Logan's speech in 1775, in one of the public 
prints. That Logan conceived Cresap to be the author of the murder 
at Yellow Creek, it is in my power to give, perhaps, a more particular 
information, than any other person you can apply to. 

In 1774 I lived in Fincastle cotmty, now divided into Washington, 
Montgomery and part of Wythe. Being intimate in Col. Preston's 
family, I happened in July to be at his house, when an express was sent 
to him as Cotmty Lieut, requesting a guard of the militia to be ordered 
out for the protection of the inhabitants residing low down on the 
north fork of Holston river. The express brought with him a War 
Qub, and a note which was left tied to it at the house of one Robertson, 
whose family were cut off by the Indians, and gave rise for the applica- 
tion to Col. Preston, of which the following i* a copy, then taken by 
me in my memorandvim book. 


Jefferson's Works 

"Captain Cresap, — What did you kill my people on Yellow Creek 
for? The white people killed my kin at Conestoga, a great while ago: 
and I thought nothing of that. But you killed my kin again, on Yel- 
low Creek, and took my Cousin Prisoner. Then I thought I must kill 
too; and I have been three times to war since: hut the Indians are not 
angT-y: only myself. 

Captain JOHN LOGAN. 
I, Dear Sir, your most obedient ser%-ant, 


■■July 2 

With great respect, I a 


Before me, the subscriber, a justice of the peace in and for »aid 
county, personally appeared John Gibson, Esquire, an a&sociate Judge 
of same county, who being duly sworn, deposeth and saJth that h» 
traded with the Shawanese and other tribes of Indians then settled on 
the Siotain the year 1773. and in the beginning of the year 1774, and 
that in the month of April of the same year, he left the same Indian 
towns, and came to this place, in order to procure some goods and pro- 
visions, that he remained here only a few days, and then set out in 
company with a certain Alexander Blaine and M. Elliot by water to 
return to the towns on the Siota. and that one evening as they were 
drifting in their canoes near the Long Reach on the Ohio, they were 
hailed by a number of white men on the South West shore, who re- 
quested them to put ashore, as they had disagreeable news to intonn 
them of; that we then landed on shore; and found amongst the party, 
a Major Angus M'Donald from West Chester, a Doctor Woods frOB 
same place, and a party as they said of one hundred and fifty mo- 
We then asked the news. They informed us that some of the partjr 
who had been taken up, and improving lands near the Big Kanhkin 
river, had seen another party of white men, who informed them tint 
they and some others had fell in with a party of Shawanese. who brf 
been hunting on the South West side of the Ohio, that they had kilM 
the whole of the Indian party, and that the others had gone across the 
country to Cheat nver with the horses and plunder, the consequeUM 
of which they apprehended would be an Indian war, and thai llief 
were flying away. On making imjuiry of them when this murder 
should have happened, we found that it must have been some con- 
siderable time before we left the Indian towns, and that there w 


the smallest foundation for the report, as there was not a single man 
of the Shawanese, but what returned from hunting long before this 
should have happened. 

We then informed them that it they would agree to remain at the 
place we then were, one of us would go to Hock Hocking river with 
some of their party, where we should find some of our people making 
canoes, and that if wc did not find them there, we might conclude that 
everything was not right. Doctor Wood and another person then 
proposed going with me; the rest of the party seemed to agree, but 
said they would send and consult Captain Cresap, who was about two 
miles from that place. They sent off for him. and during the greatest 
part of the night they behaved in the most disorderly manner, threat- 
ening to kill us. and saying the damned traders were worse than the 
Indians and ought to be killed. In the morning Captain Michael 
Cresap came to the camp. I then gave him the information as above 
related- They then met in council, and after an hour or more Captain 
Cresap returned to me, and informed that he could not prevail on them 
to adopt the proposal I had made to them, that as he had a great regard 
for Captain R. Callender. a brother-in-law of mine, with whom I was 
connected in trade, he advised me by no means to think of proceeding 
any further, as he was convinced the present party would fall on and 
kill every Indian they met on the river, that for his part he should not 
continue with them, but go right across the country to Red-Stone to 
avoid the consequences. That we then proceeded to Hocking and 
went up the same to the canoe place where we found our people at 
work, and after some days we proceeded to the towns on Siota by land. 
On our arrival there, we heard of the different murders committed by 
the party on their way up the Ohio. 

This Deponent further saith that in the year 1774. he accompanied 
Lord Dtmmore on the expedition against the Shawanese and other 
Indians on the Siota, that on their arrival within fifteen miles of the 
towns, they were met by a flag, and a white man of the name of Elliot, 
who informed Lord Dunmore that the Chiefs of the Shawanese had sent 
10 request his Lordship to halt his army and send in some person, who 
understood their language; that this Deponent, at the request of Lord 
Dunmore and the whole of the officers with him, went in; that on his 
arrival at the towns, Logan, the Indian, came to where the deponent 
was sitting with the Com-Stalk. and the other chiefs of the Shawanese. 
and asked him to walk out with him; that they went into a copse of 
wood, where they sat down, when Logan, after shedding abundance 
of tears, delivered to him the speech, nearly as related by Mr. Jefferson 
in his Not«s on the State of Virginia; that he the deponent told him 


Jefferson's Works 

that it was not Col. Cresap who had murdered his relations, and that 

although his son Captain Michael Cresap was with the party who killed 

a Shawanese chief and other Indians, yet he was not present when his 

■ relations were killed at Baker's, near the mouth of Yellow Creek on the 

I Ohio; that this Deponent on his return to camp delivered the speech 

to Lord Dunmore; and that the murders perpetrated as above wcn> 

isidered as ultimately the cause of the war of 1774, commonly called 

CrcEap'swar. JOHN GIBSON 

Sworn and subscribed the 4th April, iSoo, at Pittsburg, before me. 


Extract of a Utter front Col. Ebeneztr Zone, to the konorabU yokn Bi\tw%', 
one of the Senators in Congress from Kentucky; dated Wkteling. Fib. 
4th, 1800. 

I was myself, with many others, in the practice of making; improve- 
ments on lands upon the Ohio, for the purpose of acquiring rights to 
the same. Being on the Ohio at the mouth of Sandy Creek, in com- 
pany with many others, news circulated that the Indiana had fobbed 

some of the Land jobbers. This news induced the people generally 
I to ascend the Ohio. I was among the number. On our arrival at 

the Wheeling, being informed that there were two Indians with 
some traders near and above Wheeling, a proposition was made by the 
then Captain Michael Cresap to waylay and kill the Indians upon the 
river. This measure I opposed with much violence, alleging that 
the kiUing of those Indians might involve the country in a war. 
But the opposite party prevailed, and proceeded up the Ohio with 
Captain Cresap at their head. 

In a short time the party returned, and also the traders, in a canoe: 
but there were no Indians in the company. I inquired what liad 
become of the Indians, and was informed by the traders and Cresap 's 
party that they had fallen overboard. I examined the canoe, and saw 
much fresh blood and some bullet holes in the canoe. This fully con- 
^■i^ced me that the party had killed the two Indians, and throivn them 
into the river. 

On the afternoon of the day this action happened, a report prevailed 
3 that there was a camp, or party of Indians on the Ohio belo»r and 

near the Wheeling. In consequence of this information. Captain 
Cresap with his party, joined by a number of remits, proceeded imme- 
diately down the Ohio for the purpose, as was then generally uader- 


stood, of destroying the Indians above mentioned. On the succeeding 
day. Captain Cresap and his party returned to Wheeling, and it was 
generally reported by the party that they had killed a number of 
Indians. Of the truth of this report 1 had no doubt, as one of Cresap 's 
party was badly wounded, and the party had a fresh scalp, and a 
quantity of property, which they called Indian plunder. At the time 
of the last -mentioned transaction, it was generally reported that the 
party of Indians down the Ohio were Logan and his family; but I have 
reason to believe that this report was unfounded. 
Within a few days after the transaction above mentioned, a party 
of Indians were killed at Yellow Creek. But I must do the memory 3 
of Captfun Cresap the justice to say that I do not believe that he 
was present at the killing of the Indians at Yellow Creek. But there 
is not the least doubt in my mind, that the massacre at Yellow Creek 

_ was brought on by the two transactions first stated. 

W All the transactions, which I have related happened in the latter end 
frf April 1774; and there can scarcely be a doubt that they were the 
cause of the war which immediately followed, commonly called Dun- 
more's War. 

I am with much esteem, yours. &c, , 



:trtificaU of William Huston oj Washington county, in the State of 
Pennsylvania, communicated by David Riddtck, Esquire, Prolkonotary 
of Washington county, Pennsylvania; who in the letter enclosing it says 
William Huston is a man of established reputation in point of 

I William Huston of Washington county, in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, do hereby certify to whom it may concern, that in the year 1774, 
I resided at Catiishes camp, on the main path from Wheeling to Red- 
stone; that Michael Cresap. who resided on or near the Potomac river, 
on his way up from the river Ohio, at the head of a party of armed men, 
lay some time at my cabin. 

I had previously heard the report of Mr. Cresap having killed a 
some Indians, said to be the relations of " Logan " an Indian Chief. 
In a variety of conversations with several of Cresap's party, they 
boasted of the deed; and that in the presence of their chief. They 
acknowledged they had fired first on the Indians. They had with 
them one man on a Utter, who was in the skirmish. 



Jefferson's Works 

I do further certify that, from what I learned from the party them- 

selves, I then formed the opinion, and have not had any reason to 

change the opinion since, that the killing, on Ihe part o£ the whites, was 

what I deem the grossest murder. 1 further certify that some of 

3 the party, who afterwards killed some women and other Indians at 

Baker's bottom, also lay at my cabin, on their march to the interior 

part of the country; they had with them a little girl, whose life had 

- been spared by the interference of some more humane than the rest. 

If necessary I will make affidavit to the above to be true. Certified at 

Washington, this i8th day of April, Anno Domini. 1798. 


The eeriificale of Jacob Newland, of Shelby County, Kentucky, evmitamf^ 
cated by Ike Honorable Judge Inncs. of Kentucky. 

In the year 1774, I lived on the waters of Short Creek, a branch of 
the Ohio, twelve miles above Wheehng. Some time in June or in July 
of that year. Capt. Michael Cresap raised a party of men. and came out 
tinder Col. M'Daniel, of Hampshire County, Virginia, who commanded 
a detachment against the Wappotommaka towns on the Muskinghiim. 
1 met with Capt. Cresap. at Redstone fort, and entered his company. 
Being very well acquainted with him, we conversed freely; and he. 

among other conversations, informed me several limes of falling in 
3 with some Indians on the Ohio some distance below the mouth of 

Yellow Creek, andkilled two or three of them; and that this murder 
3 was before that of the Indians by Great-house and others, at Yellon 

Creek, I do not recollect the reason which Capt. Cresap assigned 

for committing the act. but never understood that the Indians gave 

any offence. Certified under my hand this 15th day of November. 

1799, being an inhabitant of Shelby county, and State of Kentucky. 


The Ceiiificate of John Anderson, a merchant in Frtdericksburg. Vir- 
ginia; communicated by Mann Page, Esquire, of Mansfield, near 
Fredericksburg, uiko in Ihe letter accompanying it. says, "Mr, John 
Andtrson has for many years past been settled in Fredericksburg, in 
the mercantile line, I have known him in prosperous and advent 
situations. He lias always shown thr greatest degree ii/ Etfuantrntty, 
his honesty and veracity are unimpeachable. These things can be 
attested by all Ihe respectable part of the town and neighborhood of 
Fredericksbu rg." 


Appendix 313 

Mr. John Anderson, a merchant in Fredericksburg, says, that in the 
year 1774, being a trader in the Indian country, he was at Pittsburg, 
to which place he had a cargo brought up the river in a boat navigated 
by a Delaware Indian and a white man. That on their return 
down the river, with a cargo belonging to Messrs. Butler, Michael i 
Cresap Heed on the boat, and killed the Indian, after which two 
men of the name of Gatewood, and others of the name of Tumble- 
stone.' who lived on the opposite side of the river from the Indians, 3 
with whom they were on the most friendly terras, invited a party 
of them to come over and drink with him; and that, when the Indiana 
were drunk, they murdered them to the number of six, among whom 
was Logan's mother. That five other Indiana uneasy at the absence 4 
of their friends, came over the river to inquire after them; when 
they were fired upon, and two were killed, and the others wounded. 
This was the origin of the war. 

I certify the above to be true to the best of my recollection, 
L Attest David Blub, 30th June, 179S. JOHN ANDERSON. 

The Deposition of yames Chainbgrs, comtnunicaltd by David Riddieh, 
Esquire, Prolhonolary of Washington county. Pennsylvania, who, in 
the letter enclosing it, shows that he entertains the most perfect confidence 
in the truth of Mr. Chambers. 

Washington County, ss. 
PersoDally came before me Samuel Shannon, Esquire, one of the 
Commonwealth Justices for the County of Washington in the State of 
Pennsylvania, James Chambers, who, being sworn according to law, 
deposeth and saith that in the spring of the year 1774. he resided on 
the frontier near Baker's bottom on the Ohio; that he had an intimate 
companion, with whom he sometimes lived, named Edward King; 
that a report reached them that Michael Cresap had killed some i 
Indians near Grave Creek, friends to an Indian, known by the name 3 
of "Logan;" that other of his friends, following down the river, 
having received intelligence, and fearing to proceed, lest Cresap might 
fall in with them, encamped near the mouth of Yellow Creek, opposite 
Baker's bottom; that Daniel Great-house had determined to kill them; 
bad made the secret known to the deponent's companion. King; that 
the deponent was earnestly solicited to be of the party, and. as an 
inducement, was told that they would get a great deal of plunder; and 

The proper prontinciation of Tomlinson, which was the real n 

3^4 Jefferson's Works 

further, that the Indians would be made drunk by Baker, and thai 
little danger would follow the expedition. The deponent refused 
having any hand in killing unoffending people. His companion. King, 
went with Great-house, with divers others, some of whom had been 
collected at a considerable distance under an idea that Joshua Baker's 
family was in danger from the Indians, as war had been commenced 
between Cresap and them already; that Edward King, as well as others 
of the party, did not conceal from the deponent the most minute cii' 
curastances of this aSair; they informed him that Great-house, con- 
cealing his people, went over to the Indian encampments and counted 
their number, and found that they were too large a party to attack 
with his strength; that he then requested Joshua Baker, when any 
of them came to his house, (which they had been in the habit of.) to 
give them what rum they could drink, and to let him know when Ibey 
were in a proper train, and that he would then fall on them; that 
accordingly they found several men and women at Baker's house; that 
one of these women had cautioned Great-house, when over in the 
Indian camp, that he had better return home, as the Indian men were 
drinking, and that having heard of Cresap's attack on their relations 
down the river, they were angry, and. in a friendly manner, told him 

to go home. Great-house, with his partly, fell on them, and killed 
4 all except a little girl, which the deponent saw with the party after 

the slaughter; that the Indians in the camp hearing the firing. 
manned two canoes, supposing their friends at Baker's to be attacked, 
as was supposed: the party under Great-house prevented their landing 
by a well-directed fire, which did execution in the canoes; that Edward 
King showed the depionent one of the scalps. The deponent further 
saith, that the settlements near the river broke up. and he the depo- 
nent immediately repaired to Catfish's camp, and lived some time with 
Mr. William Huston; that not long after his arrival, Cresap, with his 

party, returning from the Ohio, came to Mr. Huston's and tarried 
a some time; that in various conversations with the party, and in 

particular with a Mr. Smith, who had one arm only, he was told 
that the Indians were acknowledged and known to be Logan's friends 
which they had killed, and that he heard the party say. that Logan 
would probably avenge their deaths. 

They acknowledged that the Indians passed Cresap's encampment 
on the bank of the river in a peaceable manner, and encamped below 
him: that they went down and fired on the Indians and killed several; 

that the survivors flew to their arms and fired on Cresap, and 
3 wounded one man, whom the deponent saw carried on a Utter by 
3 the part)'; that the Indians killed by Cresap were not only Logan's 


relations, but of the women killed at Baker's one was sakl and gen- 
erally believed to be Logan's sister. The deponent further saith, that 
on the relation of the attack by Cresap on the unoffending Indians, he 
exclaimed in their hearing, that it was an atrocious murder: on which 
[ Mr. Smith threatened the deponent with the tomahawk; so that he 
t was obliged to be cautious, fearing an injury, as the party appeared 
to have lost, in a great degree, sentiments of humanity as well as the 
effects of civilization. Sworn and subscribed at Washington, the aoth 
day of April, Anno Domini 1798. 

Before Sauubl Shannon. JAMES CHAMBERS. 

\ "Wasbington Countt, ss. 

I. David Reddick, prothonotary of the court of c 
iSbal. for the county of Washington in the State of Pennsylvania, do 
certify that Samuel Shannon, Esq., before whom the within 
affidavit was made, was, at the time thereof, and still is, a justice of the 
peace in and for the county of Washington aforesaid; and that full 
credit is due to all his judicial acts as such as well in courts of justice 
as thereout. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the 
seal of my office at Washington, the »6th day of April. Anno Dom. 1798. 

TA» c^rtifeate of Charles Polke, of Shelby Coutity. in Kentucky, c 

nicated by the Hon. Judge Innes, of Kentucky, who in the letter enclosing 
ii, together with Newland's certificate, and his own declaration of the 
informalion given him by Baker, says, "I atn well acquainted with Johr. 
Newland, ke is a man of integrity. Charles Polke and Joshua Baker 
both sup fort respectable characters. ' ' 

About the latter end of April or beginning of May. 1774, I lived on 
the waters of Cross creek, about sixteen miles from Joshua Baker, who 
lived on the Ohio, opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek. A number 
of persons collected at my house, and proceeded to the said Baker's 
and murdered several Indians, among whom was a woman said to ,; 
be the sister of the Indian chief, Logan, The principal leader of 
the party was Daniel Great-house. To the best of my recollection the 



Jefferson's Works 

cause which gave rise to the murder was a general idea that the Indiaiu 
were meditating an attack on the frontiers, Capt. Michael Cresap was 

not of the party; but I recollect that some time before the perpe- 
7 tration of the above fact it was currently reported that Capt. Cresap 

had murdered some Indians on the Ohio, one or two, some distance 
below Wheeling. 

Certified by me. an inhabitant of Shelby county and State of Ken- 
tucky, this isth day of November. 1795. CHARLES POLKE. I 

The Declaration of Ike Hon. Jwige Innes, 0/ Frankfort, in Kentucky. 

On the 14th of November, 1799. I accidentally met upon the road 

Joshua Baker, the person referred to in the certificate signed by 
3 Polke. who informed me that the murder of the Indians in 1774. 

opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek, was perpetrated at his house 
by thirty-two men, led on by Daniel Great-house; that twelve were 
killed and six or eight wounded ; among the slain was a sister and other 
relations of the Indian chief. Logan. Baker says. Captain Michael 

Cresap was not of the party; that some days preceding the murder 
I at his house two Indians left him and were on their way home; that 

they fell in with Capt. Cresap and a party of land improvers on the 
Ohio, and were murdered, if not by Cresap himself, with his approha- 
tion; he being the leader of the party, and that he had this information 
from Cresap. HARRY INNES. 

The Declaration of William Robinson. 

William Robinson, of Clarksburg, in the county of Harrison, and 
State of Virginia, subscriber to these presents, declares that he was, in 
the year 1774, a resident on the west fork of Monongahcla river, in the 
county then called West Augusta, and being in his field on the nth of 
July, with two other men. they were surprised by a party of eight 
Indians, who shot down one of the others and made himself and the 
remaining one prisoners; this subscriber's wife and four children ha\*inE 
been previously conveyed by him for safety to a fort about twenty-four 
miles off; that the principal Indian of the party which took them was 
Captain Logan; that Logan spoke English well, and very soon mani- 
fested a friendly disposition to this subscriber, and told him to be of 
good heart, that he would not be killed, but must go with him to his 

■ Appendix 3^7 

town, where he would probably be adiiptcd in some of thdr faini1ie!>; 
but above all things, that he must not attempt to run away: that in 
the course of the journey to the Indian town he generally endeavored 
to keep close to Logan, who had a great deal of conversation with him, 
always encouraging him to be cheerful and without fear; for that he 
would not be killed, but should become one of them; and constantly 
impressing on him not to attempt to run away: that in these conversa- 
tions he always charged Capt. Michael Cresap with the murder of his 
family ; that on his arrival in the town, which was on the 1 8th of July. 
he was tied to a slake and a great debate arose whether he should not 
be burnt; Logan insisted on having him adopted, while others con- 
tended to bum him; that at length Logan prevailed, tied a belt of 
wampum round him as the mark of adoption, loosed him from the post 
and carried him to the cabin of an old squaw, where Logan pointed out 
a person who he said was this subscriber's cousin; and he afterwards 
understood that the old woman was his aunt, and two others his 
brothers, and that he now stood in the place of a warrior of the family 
who had been killed at Yellow Creek; that about three days after this 
Logan brought him a piece of paper, and told him he must write a 
letter for him, which he meant to carry and leave in some house where 
he should kill somebody; that he made ink with gun powder, and the 
subscriber proceeded to write the letter by his direction, addressing 

KOtptain Michael Cresap in it. and that the purport of it was. to ask 
"why he had killed his people? That some time before they had 
l^ed his people at some place, (the name of which the subscriber 
forgets,) which he had forgiven ; but since that he had killed his people 
again at Yellow Creek, and taken his cousin, alittle girl, prisoner; that 
therefore he must war against the whites; but that he would exchange 
the subscriber for his cousin." And signed it with Logan's name, 
which letter Logan took and set out again to war; and the contents 
of this letter, as recited by the subscriber, calling to mind that stated 
by Judge Innea to have been left, tied to a war club, in a house where 
a family was murdered, and that being read to the subscriber, he recog- 
niaes it. and declares he verily believes it to have been the identical 
letter which he wrote, and supposes he was mistaken in stating as he has 
done before from memory, that the offer of exchange was proposed in 
the letter; that it is probable that it was only promised him by Logan, 
but not put in the letter; while he was with the old woman, she repeat- 
edly endeavored to make him sensible that she had been of the party 
at Yellow Creek, and, by signs, showed him how they decoyed her 
friends over the river to drink, and when they were reeling and tum- 
bling about, tomahawked them all. and that whenever she entered on 


Jefferson's Works 

this subject she was thrown into the most violent agitfttions, and that 
he afterwards understood that, amongst the Indians killed at Yellow 
Creek, was a sister of Logan, very big with child, whom they ripped 
open, and stuck on a pole; that he continued with the Indians till the 
month of November, when he was released in consequence of the peace 
madeby them with Lord Dunmore; that, while he remained with them, 
the Indians in general were very kind to him; and especially those who 
were his adopted relations; but above all, the old woman and family 
in which he lived, who served him with everything in their power, and 
never asked, or even suffered him to do any labor, seeming in truth to 
consider andrespect him as the friend they had lost. All which several 
matters and things, so far as they are stated to be of his own knowledge. 
this subscriber solemnly declares to be true, and so far as they are staled 
on information from others, he believes them to be true. Given and 
declared under his hand at Philadelphia, this sSth day of February, 

The deposition of Colonel William M'Kee. of Lincoln County, Kentucky, 
communicated by ikc Hon. John Brown, one of the Senaiori in Congress 
from Kentucky. 

Colonel William M'Kee of Lincoln county, declareth, that in autumn, 
1774. he commanded as a captain in the Bottetourt Regiment under 
Colonel Andrew Lewis, afterwards General Lewis; and fought in the 
battle at the mouth of Kanhaway, on the loth of October in that year. 
That after the battle. Colonel Lewis marched the militia across the 
Ohio, and proceeded towards the Shawnee towns on Sciota; but before 
they reached the towns. Lord Dunmore, who was Commander-in-Chief 
of the army, and had, with a large part thereof, been up the Ohio about 
Hockhockin, when the battle was fought, overtook the militia, and 
informed them of his having since the battle concluded a treaty with 
the Indians; upon which the whole army returned. 

And the said William declareth that, on the evening of that day 00 
which the junction of the troops took place, he was in company with 
Lord Dunmore and several of his officers, and also conversed with 
several who had been with Lord Dunmore at the treaty; said William, 
on that evening, heard repeated conversations concerning an extra- 
ordinary speech at the treaty, or sent there by a chieftain of the Indians 
named Logan, and heard several attempts at a rehearsal of it. The 
speech as rehearsed excited the particular attention of said Williani, 
and the most striking members of it were impressed on his memory. 

Appendix 3^9 

And he declares that when Thomas Jefferson's " Notes on Virginia'* 
^were published, and he came to peruse the same, he was struck with 
"the speech of Logan as there set forth, as being substantially the same, 
and accordant with the speech he heard rehearsed in the camp as afore- 
said. Signed, WILLIAM M'KEE. 

Danville, December i8th, 1799. 
We certify that Colonel William M'Kee this day signed the original 
certificate, of which the foregoing is a true copy, in our presence. 


Th€ Certifkaie of tks Honorable Stevens Thompson Mason, one of the 
Senators in Congress from the State of Virginia. 

"Logan's Speech, delivered at the Treaty, after the battle in which 
Colonel Lewis was killed in 1774." 

[Here follows a copy of the speech agreeing verbatim with that 
printed in Dixon and Hunter's A^rginia Gazette of February 4, 1775, 
under the Williamsburg head. At the foot is this certificate.] 

"The foregoing is a copy taken by me, when a boy, at school, in the 
year 1775, or at farthest in 1776, and lately found in an old pocket^ 
book, containing papers and manuscripts of that period. 

"January aoth, 1798. STEVENS THOMPSON MASON," 

A copy of Logan*s speech, ghen by the late General Mercer, who fell in the 
battle of Trenton^ Jamuny ijy6, to Lewis Willis, Esquire, of Preder' 
icksburg, in Virginia, upmfords of twenty years ago, (from ihe date of 
F^yruary 1798,) communicated through Mann Page, Esquire. 

"The qicech of hogam, a Shawanese chief, to Lord Uunmf/re/* 
[Here follows a copy of the speech, stgrtttng yet^rtittm with that in 

the Notes on Vxrgmia.] 

A copy o€ Logam's speech from the Notes on Virgxnta having 1^*^ 

sent to Captain Andrew Rodgen, ol Kentucky, he subjoined the PAl^yw- 

In the year 1774 I was out w:*>b th* Virj^r^U V^/J«r»t>Mrf ♦. *nd wa» in 
tlie battle at the month of Canhaw««, urA taiXf^ft^'U i^uf^^^^U^ '/'/«r 

Jefferson's Works 

the Ohio to the Indian towns. I did not hear Logan make the aho^ 
speech; but from the unanimous accounts of those in camp, I hai 
reason to think that said speech was delivered to Dunmore. I 
ber to have heard the very things contained in the above 
related by some of our people in camp at that time. 


Tkt declaration of Mr. Jokrt Heckewelder. for several years 

from the society of Moravians, among the tveslem Indians. 

In the spring of the year 1774. at a time when the interior part of 
the Indian country all seemed peace and tranquil, the villagers on the 
M-Jsldngum were suddenly alarmed by two runners (Indians), who 
reported "that the Big Knife (Virginians) had attacked the Mingo 
settlement, on the Ohio, and butchered even the women with their 
children in their arms, and that Logan's family were among the slain." 
A day or two after this several Mingoes made their appearance; amonf; 
whom were one or two wounded, who had in this manner effected their 
escape. Exasperated to a high degree, after relating the particular 
of this transaction, (which for humanity's sake I forbear to mention,) 
after resting some time on the treachery of the Big Knives, of thdr 
barbarity to those who are their friends, they gave a figurative 
description of the perpetrators; named Cresap as having been at the 
head of this murderous act. They made mention of nine being killed, 
and two wounded; and were prone to take revenge on any person of 
a white color; for which reason the missionaries had to shut theia- 
selves up during their stay. From this time terror daily increased. 
The exasperated friends and relations of these murdered women and 
children, with the nations to whom they belonged, passed and repassed 
through the villages of the quiet Delaware towns, in search of white 
people, making use of the most abusive language to these (the Dela- 
wares), since they would not join in taking revenge. Traders had 
either to hide themselves, or try to get out of the country the best way 
they could. And even at this time, they yet found such true frieoda 
among the Indians, who. at the risk of their own lives, conducted them, 
with the best part of their property, to Pittsburg; although, (shamehil 
to relate!) these benefactors were, on their return from this mission, 
waylaid, and iired upon by whites, while crossing Big Bea%-er in a 
canoe, and had one man. a Shawanese. named Silverheels. (a man <rf 
note in his nation.) wounded in the body. This exasperated the Shaw> 


omuch, that they, oral least a great par( of them, immediately 

took an active part in the cause; and the Mingoes, (nearest connected 

^''ith the former.) became unbounded in their rage. A Mr. Jones, son 

to a respectable family of this neighborhood (Bethlehem), who was 

t«en on his passage up Muskinghum. with two other men, was fortu- 

*>a.tely espied by a friendly Indian woman, at the falls of Muskinghum; 

w^lio through motives of humanity alone, informed Jones of the nature 

of the times, and thai he was running right in the hands of the enraged; 

and put him on the way, where he might perhaps escape the vengeance 

'^f the strolling parties. One of Jones's men, fatigued by travelling in 

the woods, declared he would rather die than remain longer in this 

si tualion; and hitting accidentally on a path, he determined to follow 

tHe same. A few hundred yards decided his fate. He was met by a 

pa.rty of about fifteen Mingoes. (and as it happened, almost WTthio 

si ght of While Eyes town.) murdered, and cut lo pieces; and his limbs 

a.T»d flesh stuck up on the bushes. White Eyes, on hearing the scalp 

a^Uoo. ran immediately out with his men, to see what the matter was; 

*rid finding the mangled body in this condition, gathered the whole 

^rid buried it. But next day when some of the above party found on 

tH«r return the body interred, they instantly lore up the ground, and 

E^i^deavored to destroy or scatter about, the parts at a greater distance. 

'V'hile Eyes, with the Delawarcs, watching Iheir motions, gathered and 

"^terred the same a second time. The war party finding this out, ran 

'Uriouj^ly into the Delaware village, exclaiming against the conduct 

'^f these people, setting forth the cruelty of Cresap towards women and 

c^Jlildren, and declaring at the same time, that they would, in conse- 

■^tience of this cruelty, serve every white man they should meet with 

"1 the same manner. Times grew worse and worse, war parties went 

'^*Ul and took scalps and prisoners, and the latter, in hopes it might be 

'^'' .wrvice in saving their lives, exclaimed against the barbarous act 

^^hich gave rise to these troubles and against the perpetrators. The 

^ame of Great-house was mentioned as having been accomplice lo 

'-^'TJsap. So detestable became the latter name among the Indians, 

'■"at 1 have freijuently heard them apply it to the worst of things; 

*lsoin quieting or stilling their children. I have heard them say, hush! 

Cresap will fetch you; whereas otherwise, they name the Owl. The 

Warriors having afterwards bent their course more toward the Ohio, 

snd down the same, peace seemed with us already on the return; and 

this became the case soon after the decided battle fought on the Kan- 

ksway. Traders, returning now into the Indian country again, related 

the ttory of the above-mentioned massacre, alter the sawe matter. o«d 

Vilh ike same words, we have heard it related hitherto. So the report 

3a» Jefferson's Works 

remained, and was believed by all who resided in the Indian country 
So it was represented numbers of times, in the peaceable Delaware 
towns, by the enemy. So the Christian Indians were continually told 
they would one day be served. With this impression, a petty chid 
hurried all the way from Wabash in 1779. to take his relations (who 
werehving with the peaceable Del aw ares near Coshachking) outof tbe 
reach of the Big Knives, in whose friendship he never more would plwe 
any conlidence. And when this man found that his numerous rdatioM 
would not break friendship with the Americans, nor be removed, be 
took two of his relations (women) off by force, saying. "The wholecrop 
should not be destroyed; I will have seed out of it for a new crop:" 
alluding to, and repeatedly reminding those of the family of Login, 
who he said had been real friends to the whites, and yet were cniell)' 
murdered by them. 

In Detroit, where I arrived the same Spring, the report respectin| 
the murder of the Indians on the Ohio (amongst whom was Logsn'i 
family) was the same as related above; and on my return to the UoiUd 
States in the fall of 1786, and from that time, whenever and whereVtr 
in my presence, this subject was the topic of conversation, I found lb( 
report still the same: viz. that a person, bearing the name of Cres^, 
was the author, or perpetrator of this deed. 

Logan was the second son of Shikellemus, a celebrated chief of iht 
Cayuga nation. This chief, on account of his attachment to the Eng- 
lish government, was of great service to the country, having the con- 
fidence of all the Six Nations, as well as that of the English, he was vfij 
useful in settUng disputes, &c., Sec, He was highly esteemed by Con- 
rad Wdsser, Esq,, (anofficer for government in fhe Indian department), 
with whom he acted conjunctly, and was faithful unto his death. Hi* 
residence was at Shamokin. where he took great delight in acts of hi«- 
pitality to such of the white people whose business led them that wjy. 
His name and fame were so high on record, that Count Zinzendorf. 
when in this country in 174a, became desirous of seeing him. W* 
actually visited him at his house in Shamokin,' About the year i;;'i 
Logan was introduced to me by an Indian friend, as son to the Itw 
reputable chief Shikellemus, and as a friend to the while people. In 
the course of conversation I thought him a man of superior lilciu 

' The preceding account of Shikellemus, (Logan's father,) is copinl 
from manuscripts of the Rev. C. Pyrlceus, written between the ytin 
1741 and 1748. 

' See G. H. Hoskiel's history of the Mission of the United Brellil«. 
&c. Part II. Chap. 11, Page 31, 


than Indians gmierally w«re. The subject turning on vice and immo- 
rality, he confessed his too great share of this, especially his fondness 
for liquor. He exclaimed against the white peopla for imposing liquors 
upon the Indians; he otherwise admired their ingenuity: spoke of 
gentlemen, but observed the Indians unfortunately had but tew of 
these as their neighbors, &c. He spoke of his friendship to the white 
fjeople, wished always to be a neighbor to them, intended to settle on 
the Ohio, below Big Beaver; was (to the best of my recollection) then 
encamped at the mouth of this river, (Beaver,) urged me to pay him 
a visit. &c. Note. I was then living at the Moravian town on this 
river, in the neighborhoed of Cuskuskee, In April, 1773, while on my 
passage down the Ohio for Muskinghum. I called at Logan's settle- 
ment; where I received every civility I could expect from such of the 
family as were at home. 

Indian reports concerning Logan, after the death of his family, ran 
to this: that he exerted himself during the Shawanese war. (then so 
called,) to take all the revenge he could, declaring he had lost all con- 
fidence in the white people. At the time of negotiation, he declared 
his reluctance in laying down the hatchet, not having (in his opinion) 
yet taken ample satisfaction: yet. for the sake of the nation, he would 
doit. His expressions, from time to time, denoted a deep melancholy. 
Life (said he) had become a torment to him; he knew no more what 
pleasure was: he thought it had been better if he had never existed, 
&c.. &c. Report further states, that he became in some measiu"e 
delirious, declared he would kill himself, went to Detroit, drank very 
freely, and did not seem to care what he did, and what became of 
himself. In this condition he left Detroit, and on his way between 
that place and Miami was murdered. In October, 1781, (while as 
prisoner on my way to Detroit,) I was shown the spot where this should 
have happened. Having had an opportunity since last June of seeing 
the Rev. David Zeisberger. senior, missionary to the Delaware nation 
of Indians, who had resided among Che same on Muskinghum, at the 
time when the miu-der was committed on the family of Logan, I put 
the following questions to him: first, who he had understood it was 
that had committed the murder on Logan's family? and secondly. 
whether he had any knowledge of a speech sent to Lord Dtmmore by 
Logan, in consequence of this affair. &c. To which Mr. Zeisberger's 
answer was: That he had, from that lime when this murder was com- 
mitted to the present day, firmly believed the common report (which 
be had never heard contradicted) viz., that one Cresap was the author 
of the massacre; or that it was committed by his orders; and that he 
bad known Logan as a boy, had frequently seen him from that time. 

Jefferson's Works 

and doubted not in the least, that Logan had sent such a speech to 
Lord Dunmore on this occasion, as he understood from me had been 
published; that expressions o! that kind from Indians were familisr 
to hira; that Logan in particular was a man of quick comprehension, 
gcKid judgment and talents, Mr. ZeJsberger has been a missionary 
upwards of fifty years; his age is about eighty: speaks both the lan- 
guage of the Onondagoes and the Delawarcs, resides at present cm 
the Muskinghum. with his Indian congregation; and is beloved and 
respected by all who are acqtiainted with him. 


From this leslimoity the following hisloricitl statemenl rfsuUt: ^H 

In April or May. i J74. a number of people being engaged in looking 
out tor settlements on the Ohio, information was spread among them, 
that the Indians had robbed some of the land-jobbers, as those adven- 
turers were called. Alarmed for their safety, they collected together 
at Wheeling Creek. 'Hearing there that there were two Indians and 
some traders a little above Wheeling, Captain Michael Cresap, one of 
the party, proposed to waylay and kill them. The proposition, thougb 
opposed, was adopted. A party went up the river, with Cresap at their 
head, and killed the two Indians. 

'The same afternoon it was reported that there was a party of 
Indians on the Ohio, a little below Wheeling. Cresap and his party 
immediately proceeded down the river, and encamped on the bank. 
The Indians passed him peaceably, and encamped at the mouth of 
Grave Creek, a little below. Cresap and his party attacked them, and 
killed several. The Indians returned the fire, and wounded one ol 
Cresap's party. Among the slain of the Indians were some of Logan'* 
family. Colonel Zane indeed expresses a doubt of it; but it is affirmed 
by Huston and Chambers. Smith, one of the murderers, said thcj 
were known and acknowledged to be Logan's friends, and the party 
themselves generally said so; boasted of it in presence of Cresap; pre- 
tended no provocation; and expressed their expectations that Logan 
would probably avenge their deaths. 

Pursuing these examples. 'Daniel Great-house, and one Tomlinsoo, 

* First murder of the two Indians by Cresap. 

' Second murder on Grave Creek, 

'Massacre at Baker's Bottom, opposite Yellow Creek, by Great- 

Appendix 325 

who lived on the opposite side of the river from the Indians, and were 
in habits of friendship with them, collected, at the house of Polke, on 
Cross Creek, about i6 miles from Baker's Bottom, a party of 3a men. 
Their object was to attack a hunting encampment of Indians, consist- 
ing of men, women, and children, at the mouth of Yellow Creek, some 
distance above Wheeling. They proceeded, and when arrived near 
Baker's Bottom, they concealed themselves, and Great-house crossed 
the river to the Indian camp. Being among them as a friend, he 
counted them, and found them too strong for an open attack with his 
force. While here, he was cautioned by one of the women not to stay, for 
that the Indian men were drinking, and having heard of Cresap's murder 
of their relations at Grave Creek, were angry, and she pressed him in a 
friendly manner, to go home; whereupon, after inviting them to come 
over and drink, he returned to Baker's, which was a tavern, and desired 
that when any of them should come to his house he would give them 
as much rtmi as they would drink. When his plot was ripe, and a 
sufficient ntunber of them were collected at Baker's, and intoxicated, 
he and his party fell on them and massacred the whole, except a little 
girl, whom they preserved as a prisoner. Among these was the very 
woman who had saved his life, by pressing him to retire from the 
drunken wrath of her friends, when he was spying their camp at Yellow 
Creek. Either she herself, or some other of the murdered women, was 
the sister of Logan, very big with child, and inhumanly and indecently 
butchered; and there were others of his relations who fell here. 

The party on the other side of the river,' alarmed for their fricmds 
at Baker's, on hearing the report of the guns, manned two canoes and 
sent them over. They were received, as they approached the shore, 
by a well-directed fire from Great-house's party, which killed some, 
wounded others, and obliged the rest to put back. Baker tells us 
there were twelve killed, and six or eight wounded. 

This commenced the war, of which Logan's war-club and note left 
in the house of a murdered family, was the notification. In the course 
of it, during the ensuing summer, a great number of innocent men, 
women, and children, fell victims to the tomahawk and scalping knife 
of the Indians, till it was arrested in the autumn following by the battle 
at Point Pleasant, and the pacification with I»rd Ehinmore, at which 
the speech of Logan was ddivered. 

Of the gentiiiieness of that speech nothing need be said. It was 
known to the camp where it was d<f:I;verc'd; it was given out Yjy Lr/rd 
Danmore and his officers; it ran through the yfafMc papers of these 

^ Fourth mttrder, by Great-house. 


Jefferson's Works 

States; was rehearsed as an exercise at schools; pubtisbed in the 
papers and periodical works of Europe; and all this, a dozen years 
before it was copied into the Notes on Virginia. In line. General Gibson 
concludes the question for ever, by declaring that he received it from 
Logan's band, delivered it to Lord Dunmore, translated it f«r him. and 
that the copy in the Notes on Virginia is a faithful copy. 

The popular account of these transactions, as stated in the Notes on 
Virginia, appears, on collecting exact information, imperfect and 
erroneous in its details. It was the belief of the day; but how far its 
errors were to the prejudice of Cresap, the reader will now judge. That 
he, and those under him, murdered two Indians above Wheeling; that 
they murdered a large number at Grave Creek, among whom were a 
part of the family and relations of Logan, cannot be questioned; and 
as little that this led to the massacre of the rest of the family at Yellow 
Creek, Logan imputed the whole to Cresap, in his war-note and peace- 
speech: the Indians generally imputed it to Cresap; Lord Dunmore 
and his officers imputed it to Cresap; the country, with one accord, 
imputed it to him: and whether he were innocent, let the univenal 
verdict now declare. 


Tke dtclaratioH of yokn Sapfitigton, received ajter the publication of the 
preceding Appendix. 

I. JOHN SAPPINGTON. declare myself to be intimately acquainted 
with all the circumstances respecting the destruction of Logan's 
family, and do give in the following narrative, a true statement of 
that aflair; 

" Logan's family (it it was his family) was not killed by Cresap, nor 
with his knowledge, nor by his consent, but by the Great-houses and 
their associates. They were killed 30 miles above Wheeling, near the 
mouth of Yellow Cre*k, Logan's camp was on one side o£ the river 
Ohio, and the house, where the murder was committed, opposite to it 
on the other side. They had encamped there only four or five days, 
and during that time had lived peaceably and neighbourly with the 
whites on the opposite side, until the very day the affair happened, A 
little before the period alluded to, letters had been received by the 
inhabitants from a man of great influence in that country, and who 
was then, I believe, at Captcener, informing them that war was at 
hand, and desiring them to be on their guard. In consequence of those 
letters and other rumors of the same import, almost all the inhabitants 
fied for safety into the settlements. It was at the house of one Baker 
Ihe murder was committed. Baker was a man who sold rum, and the 
Indians had made frequent visits at his house, induced, probably, by 
Iheir fondness for that liquor. He had been particularly desired by 
Cresap to remove and take away his rum. and he was actually prepar- 
ing to move at the time of the murder. The evening before, a squaw 
eame over to Baker's house, and by her crying seemed to be in great 
distress. The cause of her uneasiness being asked, she refused to tell; 
but getting Baker's wife alone, she told her that the Indians were going 
to kill her and all her family the next day. that she loved her, did not 
wish her to be killed, and therefore told her what was intended, that she 
inight save herself. In consequence of this information, Baker got a 
number of men, to the amount of twenty-one, to come to his house, 
and they wre all there before morning, A council was held, and it 
■was det^ ..ned that the men should lie concealed in the back apart- 
ment; tJiatif the Indians did come, and behaved themselves peaceably, 
they should not be molested ; but if not, the men were to show them- 
selves, and act accordingly. Early in the morning, seven Indians, 
(our men and three squaws, came over. Logan's brother was one of 
them. They immediately got rum. and all, except Logan's brother, 
b«came very much intoxicated. At this time all the men were con- 

3^8 Jefferson's Works 

cealed. except the man of the house, Baker, and two others who star'd 
out with him. Those Indians came unarmed. After some lime 
Logan's brother took down a coat and hat, belonging to Baker's 
brother-in-law, who Hved with him, and put them on, and setting his 
«rms a-kimbo, began to strut about, till at length coming up to one 
of the men, he attempted to strike him, saying, " White man, son of a 
bitch." The white man, whom he treated thus, kept out of his way 
for some time; but growing irritated, he jumped to his gun. and shot 
the Indian as he was making to the door with the coat and hat on him. 
The men who lay concealed then rushed out, and killed the whole of 
them, excepting one child, which I believe is alive yet. But before 
this happened, one with two, the other with five Indians, all naked. 
painted, and armed completely for war, were discovered to start from 
the shore on which Logan's camp was. Had it not been for this cir- 
cumstance, the white men would not have acted as they did; but this 
confirmed what the squaw had told before. The white men, having 
killed, as aforesaid, the Indians in the house, ranged themselves along 
the bank of the river, to receive the canoes. The canoe with the two 
Indians came near, being the foremost. Our men fired upon them 
and killed them both. The other canoe then went back. After this, 
two other canoes started, the one containing eleven, the other seven, 
Indians, painted and armed as the first. They attempted to land 
below our men. but were fired upon; had one killed, and relrealcd. 
at the same time firing back. To the best of my recollection there 
were three of the Great-houses engaged in this business. This is a 
true representation of the affair from beginning to end. 1 was inti- 
mately acquainted with Cresap, and know he had no hand in that. 
transaction. He told me himself afterwards, at Redstone Old Fort, 
that the day before Logan's people were killed, he, with a small party, 
had an engagement with a party of Indians on Captcener, about forty- 
four miles lower down, Logan's people were killed at the mouth of 
Yellow Creek, on the 14th of May, 1774; and the 33d. the day before, 
Cresap was engaged as already slated, I know, likewise, that he was 
generally blamed for it, and believed by all who were not acquainted 
with thedrcumstanccs to have been the perpetrator of it. I know that 
he despised and hated the Great-houses ever afterwards on account 
of it. I was intimately acquainted with General Gibson, and served 
tmder him during the late war. and I have a discharge from him now 
lying in the land-office at Richmond, to which I refer any person for 
my character, who might be disposed to scruple my veracity. I was 
likewise at the treaty held by Lord Dunmore with the Indians, at 
Chelicothc. As for the speech said to have been dchvered by Logan 

ApjDfbndix 3^9 


on that occasion, it might have been, or might not, for anything I 
know, as I never heard of it till long afterwards. I do not believe that 
Logan had any relations killed, except his brother. Neither of the 
squaws who were killed was his wife. Two of them were old women, 
and the third, with her child, which was saved, I have the best reason 
in the world to believe was the vnte and child of General Gibson. I 
know he educated the child, and took care of it, as if it had been his 
own. Whether Logan had a wife or not, I can't say ; but it is probable 
that as he was a chief, he considered them all as his people. All this I 
am ready to be qualified to at any time. 

Attest, Samuel M'Kbb, Jimr. 


Madison County, Feb. 13th, 1800. 

I do certify further, that the above-named John Sappington told 
me, at the same time and place at which he gave me the above narra* 
tivc, that he himself was the man who shot the brother of Logan in the 
house, as above related, and that he likewise killed one of the Indians 
in one of the canoes, which came over from the opposite shore. 

He likewise told me, that Cresap never said an angry word to him 
about the matter, although he was frequently in company with Cresap, 
and indeed had been, and continued to be, in habits of intimacy with 
that gentleman, and was always befriended by him on every occasion. 
He further told me, that after they had perpetrated the murder, and 
were flying into the settlement, he met with Cresap (if I recollect right, 
at Redstone Old Fort) ; and gave him a scalp, a very large fine one, as 
he expressed it, and adorned with silver. This scalp, I think he told 
me, was the scalp of Logan's brother; though as to this I am not abso- 
lutely certain. 

Certified by 





<:rnfjhA ndoL 





Tes Constituti<wi of the United States, establishing a Legislature for 
the Union under certain forms, authorizes each branch of it " to deter- 
mine the niles of its own proceedings." The Senate have accordingly 
formed some rules for its own government: but those going only to few 
cases, they have referred to the decision of their President, without 
debate and without appeal, all questions of order arising either under 
their own rules, or where they have provided none. This places under 
the discretion of the President a very extensive 6dd of decision, and 
one which, irregularly exercised, would have a powerful eftcct on the 
proceedings and determinations of the House, The President must 
feel, wdghtily and seriously, this confidence in his discretion: and the 
necessity of recurring, for its government, to some known system of 
rules, that he may neither leave himself free to indulge caprice or pas- 
sion, nor open to the imputation of them. But to what system of 
rules is he to recur, as supplementary to those of the Senate? To this 
there can be hut one answer: to the systems of regulations adopted by 
the government of some one of the parliamentary bodies within 
these States, or of that which has served as a prototype to most of 
them. This last is the model which we have studied; while we are 
little acquainted with the modifications of it in our several Stales. It 
is deposited, too. in publications possessed by many, and open to all. 
Its rules are probably as wisely constructed for governing the debates 
of a considerative body, and obtaining its true sense, as any which can 
become known to us; and the acquiescence of the Senate hitherto 
under the references to them, has given them the sanction of their 

Considering, therefore, the law of proceedings in the Senate as com- 
posed of the precepts of the Constitution, the regulations of the Senate, 
and where these are silent, of the rules of Parliament, I have here en- 
deavored to collect and digest so much of these as is called for in ordi- 
nary practice, collating the parliamentary with the senatorial rules, 
both where they agree and where they vary. 1 have done this, as well 
to have them at hand for my own government, as to deposit with the 
Senate the standard by which I judge and am willing to be judged. 
I could not doubt the necessity of quoting the sources of my intorma- 



tion; among which Mr. Hatsel's moat valuable book is 

but as he haa only treated some general beads. [ have been obliged to 
recur to other authorities, in support of a number of common ru3es of 
practice to which his plan did not descend. Sometimes each authority 
cited supports the whole passage. Sometimes it rests on all taken 
together. Sometimes the authority goes only to a part of the text. 

the residue rules and principles. For some 

of the most 1 authority is or can be quoted: 

no writer t cy to repeat what all were pre- 

stuned to k. ese must rest on their notoriety. 

I am aw xa be produced in opposition to 

the rules 1 JBnlary, An attention to dates 

will geticTt- ?he proceedings of Parliament in 

ancient tin le crude, multitonn, and embar- 

rassing. ' constantly advancing towards 

uniformit) nr obtained a degree of aptitude 

to their dt O be desired or expected. 

Yet I an rfbelieving. that I may not have 

mistaken tne paruameiitary pratvite in some cases; and especially in 

those minor forms, which, being practised daily, are supposed known 
to everybody, and therefore have not been committed to writing. Our 
resources in this quarter of the globe, for obtaining information on that 
part of the subject, are not perfect. But I have begun a sketch, which 
those who come after me will successively correct and (ill up. till a code 
of rules shall be formed for the use of the Senate, the effects of which 
may be accuracy in business, economy of time, order, imiformity. and 

The rules and practices peculiar to the Senate are printed in small 
type. Those of Parliament are in large. 


a manual of parliamentary 



Mr. Onslow, the ablest among the Speakers of the 
House of Commons, used to say, " It was a maxim 
he had often heard when he was a young man, 
from old and experienced members, that nothing 
tended more to throw power into the hands of admin- 
istration and those who acted with the majority of 

(JVDCB Wythe] ' Pheladblphia, February 28, 1800. 

Mv Dbah Sir: — I know how precious your time is, and how exdu- 
Mvely you devote it to the duties of your ofRce, yet I venture to ask a 
few hours or minutes of it on motives of public service, as well as 
private friendship. I will explain the occasion of the application. 
You recollect enough of the old Congress to remember that their mode 
of managing the business of the House was not only unparliamentary, 
but that the forms were so awkward and inconvenient that it was 
impossible sometimes to get at the true sense of the majority. The 
House of Representatives of the United Slates are now pretty much 
in the same situation. In the Senate it is in our power to get into a 
better way; our ground is this: The Senate have estabhshed a few 
rules for their government, and have subjected the decisions on these 
and on all other potnti of order without debate, and without appeal, to 
the judgment of their President, he. for his own sake, as well as theirs, 
must prefer recurring to some system of rules ready formed ; and there 
can be no question that the Parliamentary rules are the best known 


Jefferson's Works 


the House of Commons, than a neglect of, or depari 
ture from, the rules of proceeding; that these fon 

to us for managing the debates, and obtaining the sense of a deliber- 
ative body. 1 have therefore made them my rule of decision, rejecting 
those of the old Congress altogether, and it gives entire satisfaction to 
the Senate: insomuch that we shall not only have a good system there, 
but probably, by the example of its effects, produce a conformity in 
the other branch. But in the course of this business I find perjilex- 
ities, having for twenty years been out of dehberativc bodies, and 
become rusty as to many points of proceeding; and so little has 
Parliamentary branch of the law been attended to, that I nt 
find no person here, but not even a book to aid me. I had, 
early period of life, read a good deal on the subject, and common- 
placed what I read. This common-place has been my pillar; but 
there are many questions of practice on which that is silent, some of 
them are so minute indeed, and belong too much to every-day's prac- 
tice, that they have never been thought worthy of being written down, 
yet from desuetude they have slipped my memory. You will see by 
the enclosed paper what they are. I know ivith what pain you 'write; 
therefore I have left a margin in which you can write a simple negatii 
oraifirmative opposite every position, or perhaps, with as little troul " 
correct the text by striking out or interlining. This is what I 
earnestly to solicit from you, and I would not have given you 
trouble it I had had any other resource. But you are, in fact, the onljr' 
spark of Parliamentary science now remaining to us. 1 ani the more 
anxious, because I have been forming a manual of Parliamentary law 
which 1 mean to deposit with the Senate as the standard by which I, 
judge, and am willing to be judged. Though I should be opposed 
its being printed, yet it may be done perhaps without my 
and in that case I should be sorry indeed should it ^o out with ei 
that a Tyro should not have committed. And yet it is precisely th( 
to which I am most exposed. I am less afraid as to important matters. 
because for them I have printed authorities; but it is those small 
matters of daily practice, which twenty years ago were familiar to me. 
but have in that time escaped my memory. I hope under these cir- 
cumstances you will pardon the trouble I propose to you in the enclosed 
paper. I am not pressed in time, so that your leisure will be sufBcient 
for me. Accept the salutations of grateful and sincere frienc 
and attachment, and many prayers for your 
from. Dear Sir, Yours affectionately. 

; but 
tie of 

ou t^^l 

■hich I^^ 


and sincere friendGhi^^^_ 
: health and happiiiq|^^| 

Parliamentary Manual 337 

as instituted by our ancestors, operated as a check, 
and control, on the actions of the majority ; and that 
they were, in many instances, a shelter and protec- 
tion to the minority, against the attempts of power.'* 

So far the maxim is certainly true, and is foimded 
in good sense, that as it is always in the power of the 
majority, by their nimibers, to stop any improper 
measures proposed on the part of their opponents, 
the only weapons by which the minority can defend 
themselves against similar attempts from those in 
power, are the forms and rules of proceeding, which 
have been adopted as they were found necessary 
from time to time, and are become the law of the 
house; by a strict adherence to which, the weaker 
party can only be protected from those irregularities 
and abuses which these forms were intended to check, 
and which the wantonness of power is but too often 
apt to suggest to large and successful majorities. — 2 
Hats. 171, 172. 

And whether these forms be in all cases the most 
rational or not, is really not of so great importance. 
It is much more material that there should be a rule 
to go by, than what that rule is ; that there may be a 
imiformity of proceeding in business, not subject to 
the caprice of the Speaker, or captiousness of the 
members. It is very material that order, decency, 
and regularity be preserved in a dignified public 
body. — 2 Hats. 149. And in 1698 the Lords say the 
reasonableness of what is desired is never considered 
by us, for we are boimd to consider nothing but what 

VOL. II — 22 

338 Jefferson's Works 

is usual. Matters of form are essential to govern- 
ment, and 'tis of consequence to be in the right. All 
the reason for forms is custom, and the law of forms 
is practice; the reason is quite out of doors. Some 
particular customs may not be groimded on reason, 
and no good account can be given of them ; and yet 
many nations are zealous for them ; and Englishmen 
are as zealous as any others to pursue their old forms 
and methods. — 4 Hats, 258. 



All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress 
of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of 
Representatives. — Constitution of the United StcUes, Article I., Sec- 
tion I. 

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for 
their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury 
of the United States. — Const. U. 5., Art. I. Sec. 6. 

For the powers of Congress, see the following Articles and Sections 
of the Constitution of the United States: — Art. I., Sec. 4, 7, 8, 9.— 
Art. II., Sec. i, 2. — Art. III., Sec. 3. — Art. IV., Sec. i, 3, 5. — And all 
the Amendments. 



The privileges of the members of Parliament, 
from small and obscure beginnings, have been ad- 
vancing for centuries, with a firm and never-yielding 
pace. Claims seem to have been brought forward 
from time to time, and repeated till some example 
of their admission enabled them to build law on that 

Parliamentary Manual 339 

example. We can only, therefore, state the point 
of progression at which they now are. It is now 
acknowledged, ist. That they are at all times ex- 
empted from question elsewhere, for anything said 
in their own house : that during the time of privilege, 
2d. Neither a member himself, his wife,* or his ser- 
vants, Ifamiliares sui\ for any matter of their own, 
may be' arrested on mesne process, in any civil suit : 
3d. Nor be detained under execution, though levied 
before the time of privilege: 4th. Nor impleaded, 
cited or subpoenaed, in any court: sth. Nor sum- 
moned as a witness or juror: 6th. Nor may their 
lands or goods be distrained : 7th. Nor their persons 
assaulted, or characters traduced. And the period 
of time, covered by privilege, before and after the 
session, with the practice of short prorogations under 
the connivance of the Crown, amounts in fact to a 
perpetual protection against the course of justice. 
In one instance, indeed, it has been relaxed by 10 G. 
3, c. 50, which permits judiciary proceedings to go 
on against them. That these privileges must be 
continually progressive, seems to result from their 
rejecting all definition of them; the doctrine being, 
that " their dignity and independence are preserved 
by keeping their privileges indefinite ;" and that " the 
maxims upon which they proceed, together with the 
method of proceeding, rest entirely in their own 
breast, and are not defined and ascertained by any 
particular stated laws." — i Blackstone, 163, 164. 

* Order of the House of Commons, 1663, July 16. 

• Elsynge, 217; i Hats. 21; i Grey's Deb. 133. 


Jefferson's Works 

It was probably from this view of the encroaching character o{ 
prii'ilege, that the framers of our Constitution, in their care to providt 
that the laws shall bind equally on all, and especially that those who 
make them shall not be exempt themselves from their operation, have 
only privileged "Senators and Representatives" themselves from the 
single act of arrest in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of 
the peace, during their attendance at the session of their respective 
Houses, and in going to and reluming from the same, and from being 
questioned in any other place for any speech or debate in either House. 
— CoHsl. U. S., Art, I. Sec. 6. Under the general authority "to make 
all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers 
given them," Const. U. S., Art. II., Sec. 8, they may provide by law 
the details which may be necessary for giving full effect to the enjoy- 
ment of this privilege. No such law being as yet made, it seems to 
stand at present on the following ground: — i. The act of arrest is void. 
ab initio, i Stra. 989. — j. The member arrested may be discharged on 
motion, i Bl. 166. ». Stra. 990; or by Habeas Corpus under the Federal 
or State authority, as the case may be; or by a writ of privilege out of 
the Chancery. 1 Stra. 989, in those States which have adopted that 
part of the laws of England. — Orders of the House of Com. 1 350, Feb 
»o. — 3. The arrest being unlawful, is a trespass for which the officer 
and others concerned are liable to action or indictment in the ordinary 
courts of justice, as in other cases of unauthorized arrest. — 4. The 
court before which the process is returnable, is bound to act as in 
other cases of unauthorized proceeding, and liable also, as in other 
similar cases, to have their proceedings stayed or corrected by the 
Superior Courla. 

The time necessary for going to and returning from Congress not 
being defined, it will of course be judged of in every particular case bj 
those who will have to decide the case. 

While privilege was understood in England to ex- 
tend, as it does here, only to exemption from arrest 
eundo, morayido, et redeundo, the House of Commons 
themselves decided that " a convenient time was to 
be understood." — 1580 — i Hats. 99, 100, Nor is the 
law so strict in point of time as to require the party 
to set out immediately on his return, but allows him 
time to settle his private affairs, and to prepare for 

Parliamentary Manual 34i 

his journey; and does not even scan his road very 
nicely, nor forfeit his protection for a little deviation 
from that which is most direct ; some necessity per- 
haps constraining him to it. — 2 Stra. 986, 987. 

This privilege from arrest, privileges of course 
against all process, the disobedience is punishable by 
an attachment of the person ; as a subpcena ad 
respondendum, or testificandum, or a summons on 
a jury ; and with reason, because a member has supe- 
rior duties to perform in another place. 

When a Representative is withdrawn from his seat by summons, 
the 47,700 people whom he represents lose their voice in debate and 
vote, as they do in his voluntary absence: when a Senator is with- 
drawn by summons, his State loses half its voice in debate and vote, 
as it does in his voluntary absence. The enormous disparity of evil 
admits no comparison. 

So far there will probably be no difference of opinion as to the priv- 
ileges of the two Houses of Congress; but in the following cases it is 
otherwise. In Dec. 1795, the House of Representatives committed 
two persons of the names of Randall and Whitney, for attempting to 
corrupt the integrity of certain members, which they considered as 
a contempt and breach of the privileges of the House; and the facts 
being proved. Whitney was detained in confinement a fortnight, and 
Randall three weeks, and was reprimanded by the Speaker. In 
March, 1756. the House of Representatives voted a challenge given 
to a member of their House, to be a breach of the privileges of the 
House; the satisfactory apologies and acknowledgments being made, 
no further proceedings were had. The Editor of the Aurora having 
in his paper of Feb. 19. 1800, inserted some paragraphs defamatory 
to the Senate, and failed in his appearance, he was ordered to be 
committed. In debating the legality of this order, it was insisted 
in support of it, that every man, by the law of nature, and every 
body of men, possesses the right of self-defence; that all public 
functionaries are essentially invested with the powers of self-pre- 
servation; that they have an inherent right to do all acts necessary 
to keep themselves in a condition to discharge the trusts confided 
to them; that whenever authorities are given, the means of carrying 

Jefferson's Works 

them into execution are given by necessary implication; that thus we 
see the British Parliament exercise the right of punishing contempts, 
all the State Legislatures exercise the same power; and ev«ry 
Court does the same; that if we have it not. we sit st the mercy 
of every intruder who may enter our doors or gallery, and by noise and 
tumult render proceeding in business impracticable; that if our tran- 
quillity is to be perpetually disturbed by newspaper defamation, it 
will not be possible to exercise our functions with the requisite coolness 
and deliberation; and that we must therefore have a power to pun- 
ish these disturbers of our peace and proceedings. To this it was an- 
swered, that the Parliament and Courts of England have cognisance of 
contempts by the express provisions of their law; that the State Legis- 
latures have equal authority, because their powers are plenary; they 
represent their constituents completely, and possess all their powers, 
except such as their Constitutions have expressly denied them; that 
the Courts of the several States have the same powers by the laws of 
their States, and those of the Federal Government by the some State 
laws, adopted in each State by a law of Congress; that none of these 
bodies, therefore, derive those powers from natural or necessary right, 
but from express law; that Congress have no such natural or necessary 
power, nor any powers but such as are given them by the Constitution; 
that that has given them directly exemption from personal arrest, 
exemption from question elsewhere for what is said in the House, and 
power over their own members and proceedings; for these, no further 
law is necessary, the Constitution being the law; that, moreover, by 
that article of the Constitution which authorizes them "to make all 
laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers 
vested by the Constitution in them," they may provide by law for an 
undisturbed exercise of their functions, e. g. for the punishment of 
contempts, of affrays or tumults in their presence, &c.; but, till the 
law be made, it does not exist; and does not exist, from their own 
neglect; that in the meantime, however, they are not unprotected, 
the ordinary magistrates and courts of law being open and competent 
to punish all unjustifiable disturbances or defamations, and even thdr 
own sergeant, who may appoint deputies ad libitum to aid him, 3 Grey, 
59, 147, 355, is equal to the smallest disturbances; that, in requiring 
a previous law, the Constitution had regard to the inviolability of the 
citizen as well as of the member; as, should one House, in the regular 
form of a bill, aim at too broad privileges, it may be checked by the 
other, and both by the President; and also as. the law being promul- 
gated, the citizen will know how to avoid offence. But if one branch 
may assume its own privileges without control; if it may do it on the 


Parliamentary Manual 343 

spur of the occasion, conceal the law in its own breast, and after the 
fact committed make its sentence both the law and the judgment on 
that fact; il the offence is to be kept undefined, and to be declared 
only ex re nata, and according to the passions of the moment, and there 
be no limitation either in the manner or measiire of the punishment 
the condition of the citizen will be perilous indeed. Which of these 
doctrines is to {Prevail, time will decide. Where there is no fixed law, 
the judgment on any particular case is the law of that single case only, 
and dies with it. When a new and even a similar case arises, the 
judgment which is to make, and at the same time apply, the law, is 
open to question and consideration, as are all new laws. Perhaps 
Congress, in the meantime, in their care for the safety of the citizens, 
as well as that for their own protection, may declare by law what is 
necessary and proper to enable them to carry into execution the 
powers vested in them, and thereby hang up a rule for the inspection 
of all, which may direct the conduct of the citizen, and at the same 
time test the judgments they shall themselves pronounce in their 
own case. 

Privilege from arrest takes place by force of the 
election; and before a return be made, a member 
elected may be named of a committee, and is to 
every intent a member, except that he cannot vote 
until he is sworn. — Memor. 107, 108. — D'Ewes, 642. 
col. 2. 653. col. I. — Pet. Miscel. Pari. 119; Lex. Pari. 
c. 23; 2 Hats. 22. 62. 

Every man must, at his peril, take notice who are 
members of either House returned of record. — Lex. 
Pari. 23, 4 — Inst. 24. 

On complaint of a breach of privilege, the party 
may either be summoned, or sent for in custody of 
the sergeant. — i Grey, 88, 95. 

The privilege of a member is the privilege of the 
House. If the member waive it without leave, it is 
a ground for pimishing him, but cannot in effect 
waive the privilege of the House. — Grey, 140. 222. 

344 Jefferson's Works 

For any speech or debate in either House, they 
shall not be questioned in any other place. — Const. 
U. S.. Art. I. Sec. 6. 5. P. protest of Commons lo 
yames I. 1621. 2 Rapin. No. 54. p. 211, 212. But 
this is restrained to things done in the House in a 
Parliamentary course, 1 Rush, 663. — For he is not 
to have privilege contra morern parliamentariiini, to 
exceed the bounds and limits of his place and duty. 
— Com. p. 

If an offence be committed by a member in the 
House, of which the House has cognizance, it is an 
infringement of their right for any person or court 
to take notice of it, till the House has punished the 
offender, or referred him to a due course. — Lex. 
Pari. 63. 

Privilege is in the power of the Hoiise, and is a 
restraint to the proceeding of inferior courts; but 
not of the House itself. — 2 Nalson, 450; 2 Grey^ 399. 
For whatever is spoken in the House, is subject to 
the censure of the House; and offences of this kind 
have been severely punished, by calling the person 
to the bar to make submission, committing him to 
the Tower, expelling the House, &c. — Scob. 72; Lex. 
Pari. c. 22. 

It is a breach of order, for the Speaker to refuse 
to put a question which is in order. — Hats. 175, 176; 
5 Grey, 133. 

And even in cases of treason, felony, and breach 
of the peace, to which privilege does not extend as 
to substance ; yet, in Parliament, a member is privi- 

Parliamentary Manual 345 

leged as to the mode of proceeding. The case is 
first to be laid before the House, that it may judge 
of the fact, and of the groimds of the accusation, 
and how far forth the manner of the trial may 
concern their privilege. Otherwise it would be in 
the power of other branches of the government, and 
even of every private man, under pretences of 
treason, &c., to take any man from his service in 
the House; and so as many, one after another, as 
would make the House what he pleaseth. — Decision 
of the Commons on the King's declaring Sir John 
Hotham a traitor — 4 Riishw, 586. So when a member 
stood indicted of felony, it was adjudged that he 
ought to remain of the House till conviction. For 
it may be any man's case, who is guiltless, to be 
accused and indicted of felony, or the like crime. — 
23 EL 1580. — D'Ewes, 283, col. i. — Lex. Pari. 133. 

When it is foimd necessary for the public service 
to put a member under arrest, or when, on any 
public inquiry, matter comes out which may lead to 
affect the person of a member, it is the practice 
immediately to acquaint the House, that they may 
know the reasons for such a proceeding, and take 
such steps as they think proper. — 2 Hats. 259. Of 
which, see many examples. — 2 Hats. 256, 257, 258. 
But the commimication is subsequent to the arrest. 
— I Blackst. 167. 

It is highly expedient, says Hatsell, for the due 
preservation of the privileges of the separate branches 
of the Legislature, that neither should encroach on 


Jefferson's Works 

the other, or interfere in any matter depending before 
them, so as to precUide, or even influence, that 
freedom of debate, which is essential to a free council. 
They are, therefore, not to take notice of any bills 
or other matters depending, or of votes that have 
been given, or of speeches that have been held, by 
the members of either of the other branches of the 
Legislature, until the same have been communicated 
to them in the usual Parliamentary manner. — 2 Hats. 
252, 4 Inst, 15; Seld. Jiid. 63. Thus the King's 
taking notice of the bill for suppressing soldiers 
depending before the House, his proposing a pro- 
visional clause for a bill before it was presented to 
him by the two Houses, his expressing displeasure 
against some persons for matters moved in Parlia- 
ment during the debate and preparation of a bill 
were breaches of privilege. — 2 Nalson, 743. And in 
1783, December 17, it was declared a breach of 
fundamental privileges, &c., to report any opinion or 
pretended opinion of the King, on any bill or pro- 
ceeding depending in either House of Parliament. 
with a view to influence the votes of the members.— 
2 Hats. 251, 6. 



The times, places, and manner of holding elections (or Senators «nd 
Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislituft 
thereof: but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter sticb 
regulations, except as to the place of choosing Senators. — Const. V. S. 
Art. I. Sec. 4. 

Parliamentary Manual 347 

Each Hotise shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and quali- 
fications of its own members. — Const. U. 5. Art. I. Sec. 5. 



The Senate of the United States shall be composed 
of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legis- ' 
lature thereof, for six years ; and each Senator shall 
have one vote. 

Immediately after they shall be assembled, in con- 
sequence of the first election, they shall be divided 
as eqtially as may be into three classes. The seats 
of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at 
the end of the second year; of the second class, at 
the expiration of the fourth year; and of the third 
class, at the expiration of the sixth year; so that 
one-third may be chosen every second year; and if 
vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, 
dtiring the recess of the Legislature of any State, the 
Executive thereof may make temporary appoint- 
ments, imtil the next meeting of the Legislature, 
which shall then fill such vacancies. 

No person shall be a Senator, who shall not have 
attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine 
years a citizen of the United States, and who shall 
not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for 
which he shall be chosen. — Const. U. 5., Art. I. Sec. 3. 

The House of Representatives shall be composed 
of members chosen every second year by the people 
of the several States ; and the electors in each State 

34S Jefferson's Works 

shall have the qualifications requisite for electors oi 
the most numerous branch of the Stale Legislature. 

No person shall be a Representative who shall not 
have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and 
been seven years a citizen of the United States, and 
who sha be an inhabitant of that 

State in bosen. 

Repn Ct taxes shall be appor- 

tioned States which may be 

incKidea Ki, according to their 

respecti" flhall be determined by 

adding 1 r of free persons, includ- 

ing thof for a term of years, and 

excluding ., three-fifths of all other 

persons. The actual enumeration shall be made 
within three years after the first meeting of Congress 
of the United States, and within every subsequent 
term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by 
law direct. The number of Representatives shall 
not exceed one for every thirty thousand ; but each 
State shall have at least one Representative. — Const. 
U. S. Art. I. Sec. 2. 

The provisional apportionments of Representatives made in the 
Constitution in 1787, and afterwards by Congress, were as follows: — 

1787 1793 1801 1813 

New Hampshire 3 4 5 6 

Massachusetts. 8 14 17 so 

Rhode Island i a a a 

Connecticut 5 7 7 7 

Vermont a 6 6 

New York 6 10 17 a; 

New Jersey, 4 5 6 6 

Parliamentary Manual 349 

1787 1793 1801 1813 

Pennsylvania, 8 13 18 23 

Delaware, i i i 2 

Maryland, 6 8 9 9 

Virginia, 10 19 22 23 

Kentucky, 2 3 10 

Tennessee, . . i 6 

North Carolina 5 10 12 13 

South Carolina, 5 6 8 9 

Georgia, 3 2 4 6 

Ohio, . . . . 6 

When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the 
executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such 
vacancies.— Cim5/. U, S. Art. I. Sec. 2. 

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he 
'was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of 
the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoltunents 
whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person 
holding any office under the United States shall be a member of either 
house during his continuance in office. — Const. U. S. Art. I. Sec. 6. 



A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business; 
but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be 
authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such 
manner, and under such penalties, as each house may provide.^-Cofw/. 
U. S, Art. I. Sec. 5. 

In general, the chair is not to be taken till a 
quorttm for business is present; unless, after due 
waiting, such a quorum be despaired of, when the 
chair may be taken, and the House adjourned. And 
whenever, during business, it is observed that a 
quorum is not present, any member may call for 
the House to be coimted ; and being found deficient, 
business is suspended. — 2 Hats. 125, 126. 


The Pti i3ent having taken the chair, and a t(uonun being p 
■the journ of the preceding day shall be read to the end. that a 
mistake m y be corrected that shall have been made in the entries. 
Rules of a SfnaUf. i. 

fZT?r^Trf\] VII. 

ich person rises up as he 
; absentees are then only 
made till the House be 
2 absentees are called a 
isent, excuses are to be 


On a 
is called 
fully a 

They ons may be recognized; 

the voice, in such a crowd, being an inefficient veri- 
fication of their presence. But in so small a body 
as the Senate of the United States, the trouble of 
rising cannot be necessary. 

Orders for calls on different days may subsist at 
the same time. — 2 Hats. 72. 



No member shall absent himself from the service of the Senate with- 
out leave of the Senate first obtained. And in case a less number than 
a quorum of the Senate shall convene, they are hereby authorized to 
send the sergeant-at-anns, or any other person or persons by them 
authorized, for any or all absent members, as the majority of such 
members present shall agree, et the expense of such absent members 
respectively, unless such excuse for non-attendance shall be made, as 
the Senate, when a quorum is convened, shall judge sufficient, and in 
that case the expense shall be paid out of the contingent fund. And 
liiis rule shall apply as well to the lirsl con^'ention of the Senate, at the 

Parliamentary Manual 35 ^ 

l«gal time of meeting, as to each day of the session, after the hour is 
^UTived to which the Senate stood adjourned. — Rule 19. 



The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the 
Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided. — Const. 
U. S. Art. I. Sec. 3. 

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President 
pro tempore in the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall 
exercise the office of President of the United States. — Const, U. S. Art. 
I. Sec. 3. 

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other 
officers. — Const. U. S. Art. I. Sec. 3. 

When but one person is proposed, and no objection 
made, it has not been usual in Parliament to put 
any question to the House; but without a question, 
the members proposing him, conduct him to the 
chair. But if there be objection, or another pro- 
posed, a question is put by the clerk. — 2 Hats. 168. 
As are also questions of adjournment. — 6 Grey, 406. 
Where the House debated and exchanged messages 
and answers with the King for a week, without a 
Speaker, till they were prorogued. They have done 
it de die in diem for 14 days. — i Chand. 331, 335. 

In the Senate, a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice- 
President, is proposed and chosen by ballot. His office is understood 
to be determined on the Vice-President's appearing and taking the 
chair, or at the meeting of the Senate after the first recess. — Vide 
Rule 23. 

Where the Speaker has been ill, other Speakers 
pro tempore have been appointed. Instances of this 

}S' Jefferson's Works 


are, i H. 4, Sir John Cheney, and for Sir William 
Sturton, and in 15 H. 6, Sir John Tyrrell, in 1656, 
Jan. 27; 1658, Mar. 9; 1659, Jan. 13. 
Sir Job Charlton ill, Seymour chosen, ] 

1673, Feb. 18. Notmerely 

Seymour being ill, Sir Robert Sawyer [ ^*^ 
chosen, 1678, April 15. i6g, *74 

Sawyer being ill, Seymour chosen. 

Thorpe in execution, a new Speaker chosen — 31 
H. VI. — 3 Grey, n; and March 14, 1694, Sir John 
Trevor chosen. There have been no later instances. 
— 2 Hats. 161. — 4 Inst. — 8 Lex. Pari. 263. 

A Speaker may be removed at the will of the 
House, and a Speaker pro tempore appointed. 
2 Grey, 186; 5 Grey, 134. 




Con st. 


The President shall, from time to time, give to the Congress iofor- 

mation of the state of the Union, and recommend to iheir coasider~ 
ation such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. — Cou rt. 
U. S. Art. II. Sec. 3. 

A joint address from both Houses of Parliament 
read by the Speaker of the House of Lords. It r 
be attended by both Houses in a body, or by a com- 
mittee from each House, or by the two Speakers 
only. An address of the House of Commons only 
may be presented by the whole House, or by the 
Speaker, — 9 Grey, 473; i Cliandler, 298, 301; or 1 
such particular members as are of the Privy ( 
— 2 Hats. 278. 

Parliamentary Manual 353 



Standing conMnittees, as of privileges and elec- 
ticns, &c., are usiially appointed at the first meeting, 
to continue through the session. The person first 
J^amed is generally permitted to act as chairman, 
^ut this is a matter of courtesy; every committee 
tiaving a right to elect their own chairman, who 
p>Tesides over them, puts questions, and reports their 
E>Toceedings to the House. — 4 Inst. 11, 12; Scob. 7; 
x: Grey, 112. 

At these committees the members are to speak 
standing, and hot sitting, though there is reason to 
Conjecture it was formerly otherwise. — D'Ewes, 630, 
^€)l. i; 4 Pari. Hist. 440; 2 Hats. 77. 

Their proceedings are not to be published, as they 
^jc of no force till confirmed by the House. — Rushw. 
t>art 3, vol. 2, 74; 3 Grey, 401; Scoh. 39. Nor can 
tJiey receive a petition but through the House. — 9 
Grey, 412. 

When a committee is charged with an inquiry, if 
a member prove to be involved, they cannot pro- 
ceed against him, but must make a special report to 
the House; whereupon the member is heard in his 
place, or at the bar, or a special authority is given 
to the committee to inqtiire concerning him. — 9 Grey, 

So soon as the House sits, and a committee is 

notified of it, the chairman is in duty bound to rise 

VOL. II — 23 


Jefferson's Works 

instantly, and the members to attend the service of 
the House. — 2 Nals. 19. 

It appears, that on joint committee of the Lords 
and Commons, each committee acted integrally in 
the following instances: — 7 Grey, 261, 278. 286, 33B; 
I Chandler, 357, 462. In the following instances it 
does not appear whether they did or not: — 6 Grey, 
129; 7 Grey, 213, 229, 321. 




The speech, messages, and other matters 
concernment, are usually referred to a committee of 
the whole House— 6 Grey, 311, where general prin- 
ciples are digested in the form of resolutions, which 
are debated and amended till they get into a shape 
which meets the approbation of a majority. These 
being reported and confirmed by the House, are then 
referred to one or more select committees, accordii^ 
as the subject divides itself into one or more bills.— 
Scab. 36, 44. Propositions for any charge on the 
people are especially to be first made in a committee 
of the whole. — 3 Hats. 127. The sense of the whole 
is better taken in committee, because in all com- 
mittees every one speaks as often as he pleases.— 
Scob. 49. They generally acquiesce in the ch^rman 
named by the Speaker; but, as well as all other 
committees, have a right to elect one, some member, 
by consent, putting the question. — Scob. 36; 3 Grey, 

Parliamentary Manual 355 

301. The form of going from the House into com- 
mittee, is for the Speaker, on motion, to put the 
question that the House do now resolve itself into a 
committee of the whole, to take under consideration 
such a matter, naming it. If determined in the 
affirmative, he leaves the chair, and takes a seat 
elsewhere, as any other member; and the person 
appointed chairman seats himself at the clerk's 
table. — Scob. 36. Their quorum is the same as that 
of the House ; and if a defect happens, the chairman, 
on a motion and question, rises, the Speaker resumes 
the chair, and the chairman can make no other 
report than to inform the House of the cause of their 
dissolution. If a message is announced during a 
committee, the Speaker takes the chair, and receives 
it, because the committee cannot. — 2 HatSj 125, 126. 
In a conmiittee of the whole, the tellers, on a 
division, differing as to numbers, great heats and 
confusion arose, and dangers of a decision by the 
sword. The Speaker took the chair, the mace was 
forcibly laid on the table; whereupon, the members 
retiring to their places, the Speaker told the House 
" he had taken the chair without an order, to bring 
the House into order." Some excepted against it; 
but it was generally approved as the only expedient 
to suppress the disorder. And every member was 
required, standing up in his place, to engage that he 
would proceed no further, in consequence of what 
had happened in the grand committee, which was 
done. — 3 Grey, 139. 


Jefferson's Works 


A committee of the whole being broken up in 
disorder, and the chair resumed by the Speaker 
without an order, the House was adjoiuned. The 
next day the committee was considered as thereby 
dissolved, and the subject again before the House; 
and it was decided in the House, without returning 
into committee. ~3 Grey, 130, 

No previous question can be put in a conimittee; 
nor can this committee adjourn as others may; but 
if their business is unfinished, they rise on a question, 
the House is resumed, and the chairman reports that 
the committee of the whole have, according to order, 
had under their consideration such a matter, and 
have made progress therein ; but not having time to 
go through the same, have directed him to ask leave 
to sit again. Whereupon, a question is put on their 
having leave, and on the time when the House will 
again resolve itself into a committee.- — Scoh. 38. 
But if they have gone through the matter referred 
to them, a member moves that the committee may 
rise, and the chairman repwrt their proceedings to 
the House; which being resolved, the chairman 
rises, the Speaker resumes the chair, the chairman 
informs him that the committee have gone through 
the business referred to them, and that he is ready 
to make report when the House shall think proper 
to receive it. If the House have time to receive it, 
there is usually a cry of " Now, Now," whereupon he 
makes the report; but if it be late, the cry 14 
"To-morrow, To-morrow," or, "On Monday," etc.. 

Parliamentary Manual 357 

or a motion is made to that effect, and a question 
put, that it be received to-morrow, etc. — Scob. 38. 

In other things the rules of proceedings are to be 
the same as in the House. — Scob. 39. 




Common fame is a good ground for the House to 
proceed by inquiry, and even to accusation. — Reso- 
lution of the House of Commons, 1 Car. i, 1625 ; Rush. 
Lex. Pari. 115; i Grey, 16. 22. 92; 8 Grey, 21. 23. 

^7- 45. 

Witnesses are not to be produced but where the 

House has previously instituted an inquiry, 2 Hats. 
102, nor then are orders for their attendance given 
blank. — 3 Grey, 51. The process is a stimmons from 
the House. — 4 Hats. 255. 258. 

When any person is examined before a committee, 
or at the bar of the House, any member wishing to 
ask the person a question, must address it to the 
Speaker or chairman, who repeats the question to 
the person, or says to him, '* You hear the question, 
answer it." But if the propriety of the question be 
objected to, the Speaker directs the witness, counsel, 
and parties to withdraw; for no question can be 
moved, or put, or debated, while they are there. — 2 
Hats. 108. Sometimes the questions are previously 
settled in writing before the witness enters. — 2 Hats. 
106, 107; 8 Grey, 64. The questions asked must be 


Jefferson's Works 

entered in the journals. — 3 Grey, 81. But the 
mony given in answer before the House is nev< 
written down; but before a committee it must be 
for the information of the House, who are not present 
to hear it. — 7 Grey, 52, 334. 

If either House have occasion for the presence 
a person in custody of the other, they ask the 01 
their leave that he may be brought up to them 
custody. — 3 Hats. 52. 

A member, in his place, gives information to 
House of what he knows of any matter under hi 
at the bar. — Jour. H. of C, Jan. 22, 1744, 5. 

Either House may request, but not command, the 
attendance of a member of the other. They are to 
make the request by message to the other House, 
and to express clearly the purpose of attendance, 
that no improper subject of examination may be 
tendered to him. The House then gives leave to the 
member to attend, if he choose it; waiting first to 
know from the member himself whether he chooses 
to attend, till which they do not take the message 
into consideration. But when the Peers are sitting 
as a court of Criminal Judicature, they may order 
attendance; unless where it be a case of impeach- 
ment by the Commons. There it is to be a request. — 
3 Hats. 17; 9 Grey, 306. 406; 10 Grey, 133. 

Counsel are to be heard only on private, not 
public bills; and on such points of law only as 
House shall direct. — 19 Grey, 61. 

Parliamentary Manual 359 



The Speaker is not precisely bound to any rules 
as to what bills or other matter shall be first taken 
up, but is left to his own discretion, unless the House 
on a question decide to take up a particular subject. 
— Hakew. 136. 

A settled order of btisiness is, however, necessary 
for the government of the presiding person, and to 
restrain individual members from calling up favorite 
measures, or matters under their special patronage, 
out of their just turn. It is useful also for directing 
the discretion of the House, when they are moved 
to take up a particular matter, to the prejudice of 
others having a priority of right to their attention 
in the general order of business. 

In Senate, the bills and other papers which are in possession of the 
House, and in a state to be acted upon, are arranged every morning, 
and brought on in the following order: 

I. Bills ready for a second reading are read, that they may be re- 
ferred to committees, and so be put under way. But if, on their being 
read, no motion is made for commitment, they are then laid on the 
table in the general file, to be taken up in their just turn. 

a. After twelve o'clock, bills ready for it are put on their passage. 

3. Reports in possession of the House which offer grounds for a bill, 
are to be taken up, that the bill may be ordered in. 

4. Bills or other matters before the House, and unfinished on the 
preceding day, whether taken up in turn, or on special order, are 
entitled to be resumed and passed on through their present stage. 

5. These matters being despatched, for preparing and expediting 
business, the general file of bills and other papers is then taken up, and 
each article of it is brought on according to its seniority, reckoned by 
the date of its first introduction to the House. Reports on bills belong 
to the dates of their bills. 


Jefferson's Works 

In this way we do not waste our time in debating what shall be taken 
lap: we do one thing at a time, follow up a subject while it is fresh, and 
till it is done with; dear the House of business, gradation as it ii 
brought on, and prevent, to a certain degree, its immense accumula' 
tion towards the close of the session. 

Arrangement, however, can only take hold of matt«rs in posscsoon 
of the House. New matter may be moved at any time, when no 
question is before the House. Such are original motions, and reports 
on bills. Such are, bills from the other House, which are received al 
all times, and receive their first reading as soon as the question then 
before the House is disposed of; and bills brought in on leave, which 
are read first whenever presented. So, messages from the other Houf 
respecting amendments to bills, are taken up as soon as the House li 
clear of a question, unless they require to be printed for belter consid- 
eration. Orders of the day may be called for, even when anolha' 
question is before the House. 


Each House may determine the rules of its prcKeedings; pnlliill 
its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of twff- 
thirds, expel a member, — Const. I. 5. 

In Parliament, " instances make order," pif 
Speaker Onslow, 2 Hats. 144; but what is done ot 
by one Parliament, cannot be called custom 
Parliament: by Prynne, i Grey, 52. 




The Clerk is to let no journals, records, accounts, 
or papers, be taken from the table, or out of his 
custody.- — 2 Hats. 193, 194. 

Mr, Prynne having, at a committee of the whole, 

Parliamentary Manual 361 

amended a mistake in a bill, without order or 
knowledge of the committee, was reprimanded. — i 
Chand. 77. 

A bill being missing, the House resolved, that a 
protestation should be made and subscribed by the 
members, " before Almighty God and this honorable 
House, that neither myself nor any other, to my 
knowledge, have taken away, or do at this present 
conceal a bill entitled," &c. — 5 Grey, 202, 

After a bill is engrossed, it is put into the Speaker's 
hands, and he is not to let any one have it to look 
into. — Town. col. 209. 



When the Speaker is seated in his chair, every 
member is to sit in his place. — Scob. 6; Grey, 403. 

When any member means to speak, he is to stand 
up in his place, uncovered, and to address himself, 
not to the House, or any particular member, but to 
the Speaker, who calls him by his name, that the 
House may take notice who it is that speaks. — Scob. 
6; D'Ewes, 487, col. i; 2 Hats. 77; 4 Grey, 66; 8 
Grey, 108. But members who are indisposed may 
be indulged to speak sitting. — 3 Hats. 75, 77; i 
Grey, 195. 

In Senate, every member, when he speaks, shall address the chair, 
standing in his place ; and when he has finished, shall sit down. — Rule 3 . 


Jefferson's Works 

When a member stands up to speak, no question 
is to be put; but he is to be heard, unless the House 
overrule him. — 4 Grey, 390; 5 Grey, 6, 143. 

If two or more rise to speak nearly together, the 
Speaker determines who was first up, and calls him 
by name; whereupon he proceeds, unless he volun- 
tarily sits down, and gives way to the other. But 
sometimes the House does not acquiesce in the 
Speaker's decision; in which case, the question is 
put, "which member was first up?" — 2 Hats. 76; 
Scab. 7; D'Ewes, 434, col. 1, 2, 

In the Senate of the Utiited States, the President's decision is with- 
out appeal. Their rule is in these words: — IVIten two members riie 
at the same time, the President shall name the person to speak; but in all 
cases, the member who shall first rise and address the chair, shall speak 
first, — Rule ;. 

No man can speak more than once to the same bill, 
on the same day; or even on another day, if the 
debate be adjourned. But if it be read more than 
once, in the same day, he may speak once at every 
reading. — Co. 12, 116; Hakew. 148; Scab. 58; 2 
Hals. 75. Even a change of opinion does not give a 
right to be heard a second time. — Smyth. Comw. L. 
2. c. 3; Arcan. Pari. 17. 

The corresponding rule of the Senate is ia these words; — No mem- 
ber shall speak more than twice in any one debate on the same day, 
without leave of the Senate. — Rule 4, 

But he may be permitted to speak again to clear a 
matter of fact. — 3 Grey, 357, 416. Or merely to 
explain himself, 3 Hats. 73, in some material part of 

Parliamentary Manual 363 

his speech, ib. 75; or to the manner or words of the 
question, keeping himself to that only, and not trav- 
elling into the merits of it, Memorials in Hakew. 29; 
or to the orders of the House, if they be transgressed, 
keeping within that line, and falling into the matter 
itself. — Mem. Hakew. 30, 31, 

But if the Speaker rises to speak, the member 
standing up ought to sit down, that he may be first 
heard. Town. col. 205; Hale, Pari. 133; Mem. in 
Hakew. 30, 31. Nevertheless, though the Speaker 
may of right speak to matters of order, and be first 
heard, he is restrained from speaking on any other 
subject, except where the House have occasion for 
facts within his knowledge : then he may, • with their 
leave, state the matter of fact. — 3 Grey, 38. 

No one is to speak impertinently or beside the 
question, superfluously or tediously. — Scob. 31, 33; 
2 Hats. 166, 168; Hale, Pari. 133. 

No person is to use indecent language against the 
proceedings of the House, no prior determination of 
which is to be reflected on by any member unless he 
means to conclude with a motion to rescind it. — 2 
Hats. 169, 170; Rushw. p. 3. v. i. fol. 42. But while 
a proposition is under consideration, is still in fieri, 
though it has even been reported by a committee, 
reflections on it are no reflections on the House. — 9 
Grey, 308. 

No person in speaking, is to mention a member 
then present by his name; but to describe him by 
his seat in the House, or who spoke last or on the 


Jefferson's Works 

other side of the question, &c. Mem. in Hakew. j 

Smyth's Comw. L. 2. c. 3; nor to digress from tlie 
matter to fall upon the person.— Scob. 31; Hale. 
Pari. 133; 2 Hats. 166, by speaking, reviling, nip- 
ping, or unmannerly words against a particular mem- 
ber. Smyth's Comw. L. 2. c. 3. The consequence 
of a measure may be reprobated in strong terms; but 
to arraign the motives of those who propose or advo- 
cate it, is a personality, and against order. Qui 
digreditur a materia ad personam, Mr. Speaker ought 
to suppress. — Ord. Com. 1604, Apr. 19. 

When a member shall be called to order he shall sit down, until the 
President shall have determined whether he is in order or net.— 
Rule 16. 

No member shall speak to another, or otherwise interrupt the hori- 
ness of the Senate, or read any printed paper while the Joumalt or 
public papers are reading, or when any member is speaking in anjr 
dehate.^Rule i. 

No one is to disturb another in his speech, by hiss- 
ing, coughing, spitting.- — -6 Grey, 332; Scob. 8; 
D'Ewes, 332, col. I ; nor stand up to interrupt him,— 
Town. col. 205; Mem. in Hakew. 31; nor to pass 
between the Speaker and the speaking member; nor 
to go across the House, — Scab, 6; or to walk up and 
down it; or to take books or papers from the table, 
or write there. — 2 Hats. 171. 

Nevertheless, if a member finds it is not the indi- 
nation of the House to hear him, and that, by con- 
versation or any other noise, they endeavor to 
drown his voice, it is the most prudent way to sub- 

Parliamentary Manual 3<^5 

mit to the pleasure of the House, and sit down ; for 
it scarcely ever happens that they are guilty of this 
piece of ill manners without sufficient reason, or inat- 
tentive to a member who says anything worth their 
bearing. — 2 Hats. 77, 78. 

If repeated calls do not produce order, the Speaker 
may call by his name any member obstinately per- 
sisting in irregularity; whereupon the House may 
require the member to withdraw. He is then to be 
heard in exculpation and to withdraw. Then the 
Speaker states the offence committed, and the House 
considers the degree of punishment they will inflict. 
— 2 Hats. 169, 7, 8, 172. 

For instances of assaults and affrays in the House 
of Commons, and the proceedings thereon, see i Pet. 
Misc. 82; 3 Grey, 128; 4 Grey, 328; 5 Grey, 38; 26 
Grey, 204; 10 Grey, 8. Whenever warm words or 
an assault have passed between the members, the 
Hotise, for the protection of their members, requires 
them to declare in their place not to prosecute any 
quarrel, — 3 Grey, 128, 293; 5 Grey, 289; or orders 
them to attend the Speaker, who is to accommodate 
their differences, and to report to the House, — 3 
Grey, 419; and they are put under restraint, if they 
refuse, or until they do. — 9 Grey, 234, 312, 

Disorderly words are not to be noticed till the 
member has finished his speech. — 5 Grey, 356; 6 
Grey, 60. Then the person objecting to them, and 
desiring them to be taken down by the clerk at the 
table, must repeat them. The Speaker then may 

3*6 Jefferson's Works 

direct the clerk to take them down in his minute. 
But if he thinks them not disorderly, he delays the 
direction. If the call becomes pretty general, he 
orders the clerk to take them down, as stated by the 
objecting member. They are then part of his min- 
utes, and when read to the offending member, he 
may deny they were his words, and the House must 
then decide by a question, whether they are his words 
or not. Then the member may justify them, or ex- 
plain the sense in which he used them, or apologize. 
If the House is satisfied, no further proceeding is 
necessary. But if two members still insist to take 
the sense of the House, the member must withdraw 
before that question is stated, and then the sense of 
the House is to be taken. — 2 Hats. 199; 4 Grey, 170; 
6 Grey, 59. When any member has spoken, or other 
business intervened, after offensive words spoken. 
they cannot be taken notice of for censure. And 
this is for the common security of all, and to prevent 
mistakes, which must happen, if words are not taken 
down immediately. Formerly, they might be taken | 
down at any time the same day. — 2 Hats. 196; Mwt. 
in Hakew. 71:3 Grey, 48; 9 Grey, 514. 

Disorderly words spoken in a committee, must be 
written down as in the House; but the committee 
can only report them to the House for animadver- 
sion. — 6 Grey, 46. 

The rule of the Senate says, — If a member be called to order f* 
words spoken, the exceptionable words shall be immediatety taken 
down in writing, that the President may be better enabled to judg«.— 
RmU 17. 

Parliamentary Manual 3^7 


In Parliament, to speak irreverently or seditiously 
against the King, is against order. — Smyth's Comw. 
L. 2, c. 3; 2 Hats. 170. 

It is a breach of order in debate to notice what has 
been said on the same subject in the other House, or 
the particular votes or majorities on it there; be- 
cause the opinion of each House should be left to its 
own independency, not to be influenced by the pro- 
ceedings of the other; and the quoting them might 
b^et reflections leading to a misunderstanding 
between the two Houses. — 8 Grey, 22. 

Neither House can exercise any authority over a 
member or officer of the other, but should complain 
to the House of which he is, and leave the punish- 
ment to them. Where the complaint is of words 
disrespectfully spoken by a member of another 
House, it is difficult to obtain punishment, because 
of the rules supposed necessary to be observed 
(as to the immediate noting down of words) for the 
security of members. Therefore it is the duty of 
the House, and more particularly of the Speaker, 
to interfere immediately, and not to permit expres- 
sions to go tmnoticed, which may give a ground of 
complaint to the other House, and introduce pro- 
ceedings and mutual accusations between the two 
Houses, which can hardly be terminated without 
difficulty and disorder. — 3 Hats. 51. 

No member may be present when a bill, or any 
business concerning himself, is debating; nor is any 
member to speak to the merits of it till he with- 


Jefferson's Works 


draws. — 2 Hats. 219. The rule is, that if a chai^ 
against a member arise out of a report of a commit- 
tee, or examination of witnesses in the House, as the 
member knows from that to what points he is 1 
direct his exculpation, he may be heard to thoi 
points before any question is moved or stat* 
against them. He is then to be heard, and witl 
draw before any question is moved. But if 
question itself is the charge, as for breach of order,-! 
or matter arising in debate, then the matter mm 
be stated, that is, the question must be movei 
himself heard, and then to withdraw. — 2 Hoi 
121, 122. 

Where the private interests of a member are con- ' 
cemed in a bill or question, he is to withdraw. And 
where such an interest has appeared, his voioe has 
been disallowed, even after a division. In a case so 
contrary not only to the laws of decency, but to the 
fundamental principles of the social compact, which 
denies to any man to be a judge in his own cause, it 
is for the honor of the House that this rule of imme- 
morial observance should be strictly adhered to. — 2 
Hats, 119, 121; 6 Grey, 368. 

No member is to come into the House with his 
head covered, nor to remove from one place to the 
other with his hat on, nor is to put on his hat in 
coming in, or removing, until he be sit down i 
place. — Scab. 6. 

A question of order may be adjourned to give t 
to look into precedents. — 2 Hats. 118. 

Parliamentary Manual 3^9 

In the Senate of the United States, every question of order is to be 
decided by the President, without debate; but if there be a doubt in 
his mind, he may call for the sense of the Senate. — Rule z6. 

In Parliament, all decisions of the Speaker may 
be controlled by the House. — 3 Grey, 319. 



Of right, the door of the House ought not to be 
shut, but to be kept by porters, or sergeants-at- 
arms, assigned for that purpose. — Mod. ten. Pari. 23. 

By the rule of the Senate, on motion made and seconded to shut 
the doors of the Senate, on the discussion of any business which may 
in the opinion of a member, require secrecy, the President shall direct 
the gallery to be cleared; and during the discussion of such motion 
the door shall remain shut. — Rule 38. 

No motion shall be deemed in order, to admit any person or persons 
whatever within the doors of the Senate-chamber, to present any 
petition, memorial, or address, or to hear any such read. — Rule 39. 

The only case where a member has a right to 
insist on anything, is where he calls for the execu- 
tion of a subsisting order of the House. Here, there 
having been already a resolution, any member has 
a right to insist that the Speaker, or any other whose 
duty it is, shall carry it into execution; and no 
debate or delay can be had on it. Thus any mem- 
ber has a right to have the House or gallery cleared 
of strangers, an order existing for that purpose; or 
to have the House told when there is not a quorum 
present. — 2 Hats, 87, 129. How far an order of the 
House is binding, see Hakew. 392. 

VOL. II — 24 


Jefferson's Works 

But where an order is made that any particular 
matter be taken up on a particular day, there a 
question is to be put when it is called for. Whether 
the House will now proceed to that matter? Where 
orders of the day are on important or interesting 
matter, they ought not to be proceeded on till an 
hour at which the House is usually full — (wkich in 
Senate is at noon). 

Orders of the day may be discharged at any time, 
and a new one made for a different day. — 3 Grey, 
48, 313- 

When a session is drawing to a close, and the 
important bills are all brought in, the House, in 
order to prevent interruption by further unimpor- 
tant bills, sometimes come to a resolution, that no 
new bill be brought in, except it be sent from the 
other House. — 3 Grey, 156. 

All orders of the House determine with the ses- 
sion ; and one taken under such an order may, after 
the session is ended, be discharged on a Habeas 
Corpus. — Raym. 120; Jacob's L. D. by Ruffhead] 
Parliament, i Lev. 165. Prichard's case. 

Where the Constitution authorizes each House to determine tbS! 
of its proceedings, it must mean in those cases, le^slati 
or judiciary, submitted to them by the Constitution, or in something 
relating to these, and necessary towards their execution. But ordere 
and resolutions are sometimes entered in their joiuTials, having no 
relation to these, such as acceptances of invitations to attend oratioDs, 
to take part in processions, &c. These must be understood to be 
merely conventional among those who are willing to participate in 
the ceremony, and are therefore, perhaps, improperly placed a 
tiie records of the Hou«e. 


Parliamentary Manual 37 1 



A petition prays something. A remonstrance has 
no prayer. — i Grey^ 58. 

Petitions must be subscribed by the petitioners, 
Scob. 87; L. Pari. c. 22; 9 Grey, 362, unless they are 
attending, i Grey, 401 , or tmable to sign, and averred 
by a member. — 3 Grey, 418. But a petition not 
subscribed, but which the member presenting it 
affirmed to be all in the handwriting of the petitioner, 
and his name written in the beginning, was, on the 
question, (March 14, 1800,) received by the Senate. 
The averment of a member, or somebody without 
doors, that they know the handwriting of the peti- 
tioners, is necessary, if it be questioned. — 6 Grey, 36. 
It must be presented by a member, not by the peti- 
tioners, and must be opened by him, holding it in 
his hand. — 10 Grey, 57. 

Before any petition or memorial, addressed to the Senate, shall be 
received and read at the table, whether the same shall be introduced 
by the President or a member, a brief statement of the contents of the 
petition or memorial shall verbally be made by the introducer. — 
Rule 9Z. 

Regularly a motion for receiving it must be made 
and seconded, and a question put, Whether it shall 
be received? But a cry from the House of "Re- 
ceived," or even its silence, dispenses with the for- 
mality of this question : it is then to be read at the 
table, and disposed of. 


Jefferson's Works 


When a motion has been made, it is not to be put 
to the question, or debated, until it is seconded. — 
Scab. 21. 

It is then, and not till then, in possession of the 
House. It is to be put into writing, if the Hoiise or 
Speaker require it, and must be read to the House 
by the Speaker, as often as any member desires 
for his information. — 2 Hats. 82. 


The rule of the Senate is. When a motion shall be made andsecoiit 
it shall be reduced to writing, if desired by the President or any mem- 
ber, delivered in at the table, and read by the President before the 
same shall be debated. — Rule 7. 

It might be asked, whether a motion for adjourn- 
ment, or for the orders of the day, can be made by 
one member while another is speaking? It cannot. 
When two members offer to speak, he who rose first 
is to be heard, and it is a breach of order in another 
to interrupt him, unless by calling him to order if he 
departs from it. And the question of order being 
decided, he is still to be heard through. A call for 
adjournment, or for the order of the day, or for the 
question, by gentlemen from their seats, is not a 
motion. No motion can be made without arising 
and addressing the chair. Such calls are themselves 

Parliamentary Manual 373 

breaches of order, which, though the member who 
has risen may respect as an expression of impatience 
of the House against farther debate, yet, if he 
chooses, he has a right to go on. 



When the House commands, it is by an "order." 
But facts, principles, their own opinions and pur- 
ix>ses, are expressed in the form of resolutions. 

A resolution for an allowance of money to the clerks being moved. 
it "was objected to as not in order, and so ruled by the chair. But on 
appeal to the Senate, (i. e., a call for their sense by the President, on 
account of doubt in his mind, according to Rule i6), the decision was 
overruled. — Joum, Sen., June i, 1796. I prestune the doubt was, 
^whether an allowance of money could be made otherwise than by bill. 



Every bill shall receive three readings previous to its being passed; 
and the President shall give notice at each, whether it be the first, 
second, or third; which readings shall be on three different days, unless 
the Senate unanimously direct otherwise, or unless by a joint vote of 
both Houses, or the expiration of their term, the session is to be closed 
within three days. — Rule 13. 



One day's notice, at least, shall be given of an intended motion for 
leave to bring in a bill. — Rule 12. 

374 Jefferson's Works 

When a member desires to bring a bill on any sub- 
ject, he states to the Hotise, in general terms, the 
causes for doing it, and concludes by moving for 
leave to bring in a bill, entitled, etc. Leave being 
given, on the question, a committee is appointed to 
prepare and bring in the bill. The mover and 
seconder are always appointed on this committee, 
and one or more in addition. — Hakew. 132 ; Scob. 40. 

It is to be presented fairly written, without any 
erasure or interlineation ; or the Speaker may refuse 
it. — Scob. 31; I Grey, 82, 84. 



When a bill is first presented, the clerk reads it 
at the table, and hands it to the Speaker, who, rising, 
states to the House the title of the bill; that this is 
the first time of reading it ; and the question will be, 
Whether it shall be read a second time ? Then, sit- 
ting down, to give an opening for objections ; if none 
be made, he rises again, and puts the question, 
Whether it shall be read a second time? — Hakew. 
137, 141. A bill cannot be amended at the first 
reading, — 6 Grey, 286; nor is it usual for it to be 
opposed then, but it may be done and rejected.— 
D'Ewes, 335, col. i; 3 Hats. 198. 

Parliamentary Manual 375 



The second reading must regularly be on another 
day. — Hakew. 143. It is done by the clerk at the 
table, who then hands it to the Speaker. The 
Speaker, rising, states to the House the title of the 
bill, that this is the second time of reading it, and 
that the question will be. Whether it shall be com- 
mitted, or engrossed and read a third time? But if 
the bill came from the other House, as it always 
comes engrossed, he states that the question will be. 
Whether it shall be read a third time ? And before 
he has so reported the state of the bill, no one is to 
speak to it. — Hakew. 143, 146. 

In the Senate of the United States, the President reports the title 
of the bill, that this is the second time of reading it, that it is now to 
be considered as in a committee of the whole, and the question will 
be. Whether it shall be read a third time ? or, that it may be referred 
to a special committee. 



If, on motion and question, it be decided that the 
bill shall be committed, it may then be moved to be 
referred to a committee of the whole House, or to a 
special committee. If the latter, the Speaker pro- 
ceeds to name the committee. Any member also 
may name a single person, and the clerk is to write 
him down as of the committee. But the House 

37^ Jefferson's Works 

have a :ontrolling power over the names and num. 
ber, if a question be moved against any one; and 
may in any case put in and put out whom they 

Those: who take exceptions to some particulars in 
■ the bill, runittee. But none who 

speak d ody of the bill. For he 

that w< would not amend it. — 

Hakew. i8; D'Ewes, 634, col. 3; 

Scab. 4; y, 145, the child is not to 

be put not for it. — 6 Grey, 373. 

It is thi b, " that no man is to be 

employ ho has declared himsdf 

against n.. ^. ... .*../ member who is against 

the bill, hears himself named of its committee, he 
ought to ask to be excused. Thus, March 6, 1606, 
Mr. Hadley was, on the question being put, excused 
from being of a committee, declaring himself to be 
against the matter itself. — Scab. 48. 

No bill shall be committed or amended until it shall have been twice 
read, after which it may be referred to a committee. — RuU 14. 

All committees shall be appointed by ballot, and a plurality of 
voices shall make a choice. — Rule 15. 

The clerk may deliver the bill to any member of 
the committee. — Town. col. 138. But it is usual to 
dehver it to him who is first named. 

In some cases, the House has ordered the com- 
mittee to withdraw immediately into the committee- 
chamber, and act on and bring back the bill, sitting 
the House.—Scob. 48. 

Parliamentary Manual 377 

A committee meets when and where they please, 
if the House has not ordered time and place for 
them. — 6 Grey, 370. But they can only act when 
together, and not by separate consultation. and con- 
sent; nothing being the report of the committee, 
but what has been agreed to in committee, actually 

A n^iajority of the conmiittee constitutes a quorum 
for btisiness. — Elsynge's method of passing bills, 11. 

Any member of the House may be present at any 
select committee, but cannot vote, and must give 
place to all of the committee, and must sit below 
them. — Elsynge, 12; Scob. 49. 

But in 1626, April 24th, the House of Commons 
resolved that though any members may be present 
at the examination of witnesses, they may not be at 
the debate, disposition, or penning of the business 
by the select committee. — 4 Hats. 124. 

The committee have full power over the bill, or 
other paper committed to them, except that they 
cannot change the title or subject. — 8 Grey, 228. 

The paper before a committee, whether select or 
of the whole, may be a bill, resolutions, draught of 
an address, &c., and it may either originate with 
them, or be referred to them. In every case, the 
whole paper is read first by the clerk, and then by 
the chairman, by paragraphs, Scob. 49, pausing at 
the end of each paragraph, and putting questions, 
for amending, if proposed. In the case of resolutions 
on distinct subjects, originating with themselves, a 


Jefferson's Works 

question is put on each separately, as amended, or 
unamended, and no final question on the whole. — 3 
Hats. 276. But if they relate to the same subject, 
a question is put on the whole. If it be a bill, 
draught of an address, or other paper originating 
with them, they proceed by paragraphs, putting 
questions for amending, either by inserting or 
striking out, if proposed; but no question on 
agreeing to the paragraphs separately. This is 
reserved to the close, when a question is put on the 
whole for agreeing to it as amended or imamended. 
But if it be a paper referred to them, they proceed 
to put questions of amendment, if proposed, but no 
final question on the whole; because all parts of the 
paper having been adopted by the House, stand, of 
course, unless altered, or struck out by a vote. 
Even if they are opposed to the whole paper, and 
think it cannot be made good by amendments, they 
cannot reject it, but must report it back to the 
House without amendments, and there make their 

The nattiral order in considering and amending 
any paper is, to begin at the beginning, and proceed 
through it by paragraphs ; and this order is so 
strictly adhered to in Parliament, tliat, when a 
latter part has been amended, you cannot recur 
back and make any alteration in a former part. — a 
Hats. 90. In numerous assembhes, this restraint is, 
doubtless, important. 


Parliamentary Manual 379 

But in the Senate of the United States, though in the main we con- 
sider and amend the paragraphs in their natural order, yet recurrences 
are indulged; and they seem, on the whole, in that small body, to 
produce advantages overweighing their inconveniences. 

To this natural order of beginning at the beginning, 

there is a single exception found in Parliamentary 

usage. When a bill is taken up in cjommittee, or on 

its second reading, they postpone the preamble, till 

the other parts of the bill are gone through. The 

reason is, that on consideration of the body of the 

bill, such alterations may therein be made, as may 

also occasion the alteration of the preamble. — Scob. 

so; 7 Grey, 4^1. 

On this head, the following case occurred in the 
Senate, March 6, i8oo. A resolution which had no 
preamble, having been already amended by the 
House, so that a few words only of the original 
remained in it, a motion was made to prefix a 
preamble, which, having an aspect very different 
from the resolution, the mover intimated that he 
should afterwards propose a correspondent amend- 
ment in the body of the resolution. It was objected 
that a preamble could not be taken up till the body 
of the resolution is done with. But the preamble 
was received; because we are in fact through the 
body of the resolution, we have amended that as 
far as amendments have been offered, and indeed 
till little of the original is left. It is the proper time, 
therefore, to consider [a preamble ; and whether the 
one offered be consistent with the resolution, is for 

: tto»s^ 

. vJotlts 








oi if' 






, ttiew- 




*«=* amend'"''" • „„,s. ago. * ^ ««»»" 
vA*"", S«b- 53-' ^ " ?'^^'=* Souse, *^* 



. vote ' 

, W 

^V^-.t ■al.e.edr^i^es.-r\ -,.e, ot 




- oinit 


„ee n*^ ^ 
l.din'*^"' = scot- 50i f';^ tbe !:»»' 



iseU, ^] 





, eoO>0»*|| 

Parliamentary Manual 381 

whom was referred such a bill, have, according to 
order, had the same under consideration, and have 
directed him to report the same without any amend- 
ment, or with sundry amendments, (as the case 
may be,) which he is ready to do when the House 
pleases to receive it. And he, or any other, may 
move that it be now received. But the cry of **now, 
now," from the House, generally dispenses with the 
formality of a motion and question. He then reads 
the amendments, with the coherence in the bill, and 
opens the alterations, and the reasons of the com- 
mittee for sudi amendment, until he has gone 
through the whole. He then delivers it at the 
clerk's table, where the amendments reported are 
read by the derk, without the coherence; where- 
upon the papers lie upon the table, till the House, 
at his convenience, shall take up the report. — Scab. 
52; Hakew. 148. 

The report being made, the committee is dissolved^ 
and can act no more without a new power. — Scab. 51. 
But it may be revived by a vote, and the same matt^ 
itted to them. — 4 Grey, 361. 




After a biU has been committed and reported^ it 
oug^t not, in an ordinary course, to be recommitted* 
But in cases of importance, and for special reasons, 
it is sometimes recommitted, and usually to the 

382 Jefferson's Works 

same committee. — Hakew. 151. If a report be com- 
mitted before agreed to in the House, what has 
passed in the committee is of no validity ; the whole 
question is again before the committee, and a new 
resolution must be again moved, as if nothing had 
passed. — 3 Hats. 131, note. . 

In Senate, January, 1800, the salvage bill was 
recommitted three times after the commitment. 

A particular clause of a bill may be committed 
without the whole bill, — 3 Hats. 131 ; or so much of 
a paper to one, and so much to another committee. 



When the report of a paper, originating with a 
committee, is taken up by the House, they proceed 
exactly as in committee. Here, as in committee, 
when the paragraphs have, on distinct questions, 
been agreed to seriatim, — 5 Grey, 365; 6 Grey, 368; 
8 Grey, 47, 104, 360; i Torbuck's deb. 124; 3 Hats, 
348, — ^no question need be put on the whole report. 
—5 Grey, 381. 

On taking up a bill reported with amendments, 
the amendments only are read by the clerk. The 
Speaker then reads the first, and puts it to the 
question, and so on till the whole are adopted or 
rejected, before any other amendment be admitted, 
except it be an amendment to an amendment. — 
Elsynge's Mem. 23. When through the amendments 

Parliamentary Manual 3^3 

of the committee, the Speaker pauses, and gives 
time for amendments to be proposed in the House 
to the body of the bill ; as he does also if it has been 
reported without amendments ; putting no question 
but on amendments proposed; and when through 
the whole, he puts the question. Whether the bill 
shaU be read the third time ? 



If, on the motion and question, the bill be not 
committed, or if no proposition for commitment be 
made, then the proceedings in the Senate of United 
States and in Parliament are totally diflEerent. The 
former shall be first stated. 

The soth rule of the Senate sa3rs, "All bills, on a second reading, 
shall first be considered by the Senate in the same manner as if the 
Senate were in a committee of the whole, before they shall be taken 
up and proceeded on by the Senate agreeably to the standing rules, 
unless otherwise ordered;" that is to say, unless ordered to be referred 
to a special committee. 

The proceeding of the Senate, as in conmiittee of the whole, or in 
quasi-committee, are precisely as in a real committee of the whole, 
taking no questions but on amendments. When through the whole, 
they consider the quasi-conmiittee as risen, the House restmied, with- 
out any motion, question, or resolution to that effect, and the Presi- 
dent reports, that "the House, acting as in committee of the whole, 
have had imder consideration the bill entitled, &c., and have made 
sundry amendments, which he will now report to the House. ' * The bill 
is then before them, as it would have been if reported from a committee, 
and questions are regularly to be put again on every amendment: 
which being gone through, the President pauses to give time to the 
House to propose amendments to the body of the bill, and when 
through, puts the question, whether it shall be read a third time? 

3*4 Jefferson's Works 

After progress in amending a bill in quasi -committee, a motion may 
be made to refer it to a special committee. If the motion prevails, 
it is equivalent in effect to the several votes that the committee rise, 
the House resume itself, discharge the committee of the whole, and 
refer the bill to a special committee. In that case, the amendments 
already made fall. But if the motion, fails, the quasi -committee stands 
iaslalu qua. 

How far does this 20th rule subject the House, 
when in quasi-committee, to the laws whicli regulate 
the proceedings of a committee of the whole ? The 
particulars, in which these differ from proceedings 
in the House, are the following:—!. In a committee, 
every member may speak as often as he pleases. — 
2. The votes of a committee may be rejected or 
altered when reported to the House. — 3. A com- 
mittee, even of the whole, cannot refer any matter 
to another committee. — 4. In a committee, no pre- 
vious question can be taken: the only means to 
avoid an improper discussion, is to move that the 
committee rise; and if it be apprehended that the 
same discussion will be attempted on returning into 
committee, the House can discharge them, and pro- 
ceed itself on the business, keeping down the 
improper discussion by the previous question. — 5. A 
committee cannot punish a breach of order, in the 
House, or in the gallery, — 9 Grey, 113; it can only 
rise and report it to the House, who may pn 
to punish. 


The ist and 3d of these peculiarities attach to the quasi-commttS 
of the Senate, as every day's practice proves ; and seem to be the only 
ones to which the joth rule meant to subject them: for it continues to 
be a House, and therefore, though it acts in some respects as a (oni- 

Parliamentary Manual 385 

xmttee, in others it preserves its character as a House. — Thus, 3d, It 
is in the daily habit of referring its business to a special committee. — 
4th. It admits the previous question: if it did not, it would have no 
means of preventing an improper discussion; not being able, as the 
committee is, to avoid it by returning into the House: for the moment 
it would restmie the same subject there, the 20th rule declares it again 
a quasi-committee. — 5th. It would doubtless exercise its powers as a 
House on any breach of order. — 6th. It takes a question by Yea and 
Nay, as the House does. — 7th. It receives messages from the Presi- 
dent and the other House. — 8th. In the midst of a debate, it receives 
a motion to adjourn, and adjourns as a House, not as a committee. 



In Parliament, after the bill has been read a 
second time, if, on the motion and question, it be 
not committed, or if no proposition for commitment 
be made, the Speaker reads it by paragraphs, pausing 
between each, but putting no questions but on 
amendments proposed; and when through the 
whole, he puts the question, Whether it shall be 
read the third time? if it came from the other 
House. Or, if originating with themselves. Whether 
it shall be engrossed and read a third time? The 
Speaker reads sitting, but rises to put a question. 
The clerk stands while he reads. 

But the Senate of the United States is so much in the habit of mak- 
ing many and material amendments at the third reading, that it has 
become the practice not to engross a bill till it has passed. An irregu- 
lar and dangerous practice; because, in this way, the paper which 
passes the Senate is not that which goes to the other House; and that 
which goes to the other House as the act of the Senate, has never been 
seen in Senate. In reducing ntimerous, difficiilt, and illegible amend- 

VOL. II — 25 

Jefferson's Works 

ments into the tejct. the secretary may, with the n 
tions, commit errors which can never again be corrected. 

The bill being now as perfect as its friends can 
make it, this is the proper stage for those, funda- 
mentally opposed, to make their first attack. All 
attempts at other periods are with disjointed efforts; 
because many who do not expect to be in favor of 
the bill, ultimately, are willing to let it go on to its 
perfect state, to take time to examine it themselves, 
and to hear what can be said for it; knowing that, 
after all, they have sufficient opportunities of giving 
it their veto. Its two last stages, therefore, are 
reserved for this, that is to say, on the question. 
Whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time? 
and, lastly, Whether it shall pass ? Tlie first of these 
is usually the most interesting contest; because 
then the whole subject is new and engaging, and the 
minds of the members having not yet been declared 
by any trying vote, the issue is the more doubtful. 
In this stage, therefore, is the main trial of strength 
between its friends and opponents; and it behooves 
every one to make up his mind decisively for this 
question, or he loses the main battle; and accident 
and management may, and often do, prevent a 
successful rallying on the next and last question. 
Whether it shall pass? 

When the bill is engrossed, the title is to be en- 
dorsed on the back, and not within the bill. — Hakem. 

Parliamentary Manual 387 



Where papers are laid before the House, or 
referred to a committee, every member has a right 
to have them once read at the table, before he can 
be compelled to vote on them. But it is a great, 
though common error, to suppose that he has a 
right, toties quoties, to have acts, journals, accounts, 
or papers, on the table, read independently of the 
will of the House. The delay and interruption 
which this might be made to produce, evince the 
impossibility of the existence of such a right. There 
is indeed so manifest a propriety of permitting every 
member to have as much information as possible 
on every question on which he is to vote, that when 
he desires the reading, if it be seen that it is really 
for information, and not for delay, the Speaker 
directs it to be read without putting a question, if 
no one objects. But if objected to, a question 
must be put. — 2 Hats. 117, 118. 

It is equally an error to suppose, that any member 
has a right, without a question put, to lay a book or 
paper on the table, and have it read, on suggesting 
that it contains matter infringing on the privileges 
of the House. — 2 Hats. 117, 118. 

For the same reason, a member has not a right to 
read a paper in his place, if it be objected to, with- 
out leave of the House. But this rigor is never 
exercised but where there is an intentional or 
gross abuse of the time and patience of the House. 

A member has not a right even to read his own 
speech, committed to writing, without leave. Thisi 
also is to prevent an abuse of time; and therefore i 
not refused, but where that is intended. — 2 Grey, 227. 

A report of a committee of the Senate on a bill | 
from the House of Representatives being luideTi 
consideration, on motion that the report of the | 
committee of the House of Representatives on the! 
same bill be read in the Senate, it passed in theJ 
negative. — Feb. 28, 1793. 

Formerly, when papers were referred to a com- 
mittee, they used to be first read; but of late, only~ 
the titles; unless a member insists they shall b& 
read, and then nobody can oppose it. — 2 Hats. 117. 



While a question is before the Senate, no motion shall be received 
unless for an amendment, (or the previous question, or for postponin£ 
the main question, or to commit it, or to adjourn. — Rvit S. 

It is no possession of a bill, unless it be delivered 
to the clerk to be read, or the Speaker reads the 
title. — Lex. Pari, 274; Elsynge, Mem. 85 ; Ord. House 
Commons, 64. 

It is a general rule, that the question first movaij 
and seconded shall be first put. — Scob. 28, 22; 
Hats. 81. But this rule gives way to what md 
be called privileged questions; and the privile) 
questions are of different grades among themselvd 

Parliamentary Manual 389 

A motion to adjourn, simply takes place of all 
others ; for otherwise the House might be kept sitting 
against its will, and indefinitely. Yet this motion 
cannot be received after another question is actually 
put, and while the House is engaged in voting. 

Orders of the day take place of all other questions, 
except for adjournment. That is to say, the ques- 
tion which is the subject of an order, is made a 
privileged one, pro hoc vice. The order is a repeal 
of the general rule as to this special case. When 
any member moves, therefore, for the orders of the 
day to be read, no further debate is permitted on 
the question which was before the House; for if 
the debate might proceed, it might continue through 
the day, and defeat the order. This motion, to 
entitle it to precedence, must be for the orders gen- 
erally, and not for any particular one; and if it be 
carried on the question, "Whether the House will 
now proceed to the orders of the day?" they must 
be read and proceeded on in the course in which 
they stand. — 2 Hats. 83. For priority of order 
gives priority of right, which cannot be taken away 
but by another special order. 

After these there are other privileged questions, 
which will require considerable explanation. 

It is proper that every Parliamentary assembly 
should have certain forms of questions, so adapted 
as to enable them fitly to dispose of every propo- 
sition which can be made to them. Such are, i. 
The previous question: 2. To postpone indefinitely: 

39° Jefferson's Works 

3. To adjourn to a definite day: 4. To lie on the 
table: 5. To commit: 6. To amend. The proper 
occasion for each of these questions should be under- 

1. When a proposition is moved, which it is use- 
less or inexpedient now to express or discuss, the 
previous question has been introduced for suppress- 
ing, for that time, the motion and its discussion. — 
3 Hats. 188, 189. 

2. But as the previous question gets rid of it only 
for that day, and the same proposition may recur 
the next day, if they wish to suppress it for the 
whole of that session, they postpone it indefinitely. — 
3 Hats. 183. This quashes the proposition for that 
session, as an indefinite adjournment is a dissolu- 
tion, or the continuance of a suit sine die is a discon- 
tinuance of it. 

3. When a motion is made which it will be proper 
to act on, but information is wanted, or something 
more pressing claims the present time, the question 
or debate is adjourned to such a day within the 
session as will answer the views of the House. — 3 
Hats. 81. And those who have spoken before, may 
not speak again when the adjourned debate is 
resumed.— 2 Hats. 73, Sometimes, however, this 
has been abusively used, by adjourning it to a day 
beyond the session, to get rid of it altogether, as 
would be done by an indefinite postponement. 

4. When the House has something else which 
claims its present attention, but would be willing 

Parliamentary Manual 39 1 

to reserve in their power to take up a proposition 
whenever it shall stiit them, they order it to lie on 
their table. It may then be called for at any time. 

5. If the proposition will want more amendment 
and digestion than the formalities of the House will 
conveniently admit, they refer it to a committee. 

6. But if the proposition be well digested, and 
may need but few and simple amendments, and 
especially if these be of leading consequence, they 
then proceed to consider and amend it themselves. 

The Senate, in their practice, vary from this regu- 
lar gradation of forms. Their practice, compara- 
tively with that of Parliament, stands thus : 

For the Parliamentary, The Senate uses, 

Pbstmt . indefinite. — Postmt . to a day beyond the session . 

Adjournment, — Postmt. to a day within the session. 

_ . ^. ^ ^, ( Postponement indefinite. 

Laying on the table. -< - . ^i. ^ 1.1 

•^ ** ( Lajnng on the table. 

In their 8th Rule, therefore, which declares, that 
while a question is before the Senate, no motion 
shall be received, unless it be for the previous ques- 
tion, or to postpone, commit or amend the main 
question, the term postponement must be tmder- 
stood according to their broad use of it, and not in 
its Parliamentary sense. Their rule then estab- 
lishes as privileged questions, the previous question, 
postponement, commitment, and amendment. 

But it may be asked. Have these questions any 
privilege among themselves? or are they so equal 
that the common principle of the " first moved, first 

Jefferson's Works 

put," takes place among them? This will need ex- 
planation. Their competitions may be as follows: 

. Prev. Qu. and Postpor 

, Postpone a 



rnd Prtv, Qu. 

3. Commit and Prev 


n the jst, ad. and 3d classes, and 
the 1st member of the 4th class, 
the rule "first moved, first put," 
takes plac 

. Amend i 

id Prev. Qu. 

it J 


In the ist class, where the previous question is first 
moved, the effect is peculiar ; for it not only prevents 
the after motion to postpone or commit from being 
put to question before it. but also from being put 
after it. For if the previous question be decided 
affirmatively, to wit, that the main question shall 
lurw be put, it would of course be against the decision 
to postpone or commit. And if it be decided nega- 
tively, to wit, that the main question shall not now 
be put, this puts the House out of possession of the 
main question, and consequently there is nothing 
before them to postpone or commit. So that neither 
voting for nor against the previous question will 
enable the advocates for postponing or committing 
to get at their object. Whether it may be amended, 
shall be examined hereafter. 

2d class. — If postponement be decided affirma- 
tively, the proposition is removed from before the 
House, and consequently there is no ground for the 

Parliamentary Manual 393 

previotis question, commitment, or amendment. 
But if decided negatively, that it shall not be post- 
poned, the main question may then be suppressed 
by the previous question, or may be committed or 

The 3d class is subject to the same observations as 
the 2d. 

The 4th class. — ^Amendment of the main question 
first moved, and afterwards the previous question, 
the question of amendment shall be first put. 

Amendment and postponement competing, post- 
ponement is first put, as the equivalent proposition to 
adjourn the main question would be in Parliament. 
The reason is, that the question for amendment is not 
suppressed by postponing or adjourning the main 
question, but remains before the House whenever 
the main question is resumed ; and it might be that 
the occasion for other urgent business might go by, 
and be lost by length of debate on the amendment, 
if the House had it not in their power to postpone the 
whole subject. 

Amendment and commitment. The question for 
committing, though last moved, shall be first put; 
because in truth it facilitates and befriends the 
motion to amend. Scobell is express: — **0n a 
motion to amend a bill, any one may, notwithstand- 
ing, move to commit it, and the question for com- 
mitment shall be first put." — Scob. 46. 

We have hitherto considered the case of two or 
more of the privileged questions contending for privi- 

394 Jefferson's Works 

lege between themselves, when both were moved on 
the original or main question; but now let us sup- 
pose one of them to be moved, not on the original 
primary question, but on the secondary one, e. g. 

Suppose a motion to postpone, commit, or amend 
the main question, and that it be moved to suppress 
that motion by putting the previous question on it. 
This is not allowed, because it would embarrass ques- 
tions too much to allow them to be piled on one 
another several stories high; and the same result 
may be had in a more simple way, by deciding against 
the postponement, commitment, or amendment. — 
2 Hats. 8i, 2, 3, 4. 

Suppose a motion for the previous question, or 
commitment or amendment of the main question, 
and that it be then moved to postpone the motion 
for the previous question, or for commitment or 
amendment of the main question: i. It would be 
absurd to postpone the previous question, commit, 
ment. or amendment, alone, and thus separate the 
appendage from its principal; yet it must be post- 
poned separately from the original, if at all, because 
the 8th rule of the Senate says, that when a main 
question is before the House, no motion shall be 
received but to commit, amend, or pre-question the 
original question, which is the parUamentary doc- 
trine; therefore, the motion to postpone the secon- 
dary motion for the previous question, or for com- 
mitting or amending, cannot be received: 2. This 
is a piling of questions one on another, which, to 

Parliamentary Manual 395 

avoid embarrassment, is not allowed: 3. The same 
restilt may be had more simply, by voting against 
the previous question, commitment, or amendment. 

Suppose a commitment moved, of a motion for the 
previous question, or to postpone, or amend. 

The ist, 2d, and 3d reasons before stated, all hold 
good against this. 

Suppose an amendment moved to a motion for the 
previous question ? Answer : The previous question 
cannot be amended. Parliamentary usage, as well 
as the 9th rule of the Senate, has fixed its form to be, 
"Shall the main question be now put?" i. e,, at this 
instant. And as the present instant is but one, it 
can admit of no modification. To change it to to- 
morrow, or any other moment, is without example 
and without utility. But suppose a motion to 
amend a motion for postponement, as to one day 
instead of another, or to a special instead of indefi- 
nite time. The useful character of amendment gives 
it a privilege of attaching itself to a secondary privi- 
leged motion. That is, we may amend a postpone- 
ment of a main question. So we may amend a com- 
mitment of a main question, as by adding, for exam- 
ple, " with instruction to inquire, *' &c. In like man- 
ner, if an amendment be moved to an amendment, 
it is admitted. But it would not be admitted in 
another degree, to wit, to amend an amendment to 
an amendment of a main question. This would lead 
to too much embarrassment. The line must be 
drawn somewhere ; and usage has drawn it after the 


Jefferson's Works 


amendment to the amendment. The same result 
must be sought by deciding against the amendment 
to the amendment, and then moving it again as itd 
was wished to be amended. In this form it becomes| 
only an amendment to an amendment. 

In filling a blank with a sum, the largest sum shaUt 
be first put to ike question, by the i8lh Rule of tlu\ 
Senate, contrary to the rule of Parliament, which 
privileges the smallest sum and longest time. — 5 
Grey, 179; 2 Hats. 8, 83; 3 Hats. 132, 133. And 
this is considered to be not in the form of an amend- 
ment to the question, but as alternative or successive 
originals. In all cases of time or number, we must 
consider whether the larger comprehends the lesser, 
as in a question to what day a postponement shall 
be, the number of a committee, amount of a fine, 
term of an imprisonment, term of irredeemabih'ty of 
a loan, or the terminus in qucm in any other case. 
Then the question must begin a maxima. Or whether J 
the lesser includes the greater, as in question on the 
limitation of the rate of interest, on what day the 
session shall be closed by adjournment, on what day 
the next shall commence, when an act shall com- 
mence, or the terminus a quo in any other case, where 
the question must begin o minima. The object being 
not to begin at that extreme, which, and more, being:a 
within every man's wish, no one could negative it,l 
and yet, if we should vote in the affirmative, every ' 
question for more would be precluded; but at that 
extreme which would unite few, and then to advance 

Parliamentary Manual 397 

^^ recede till you get to a number which will tinite a 

^are majority. — 3 Grey, 376, 384, 385. "The fair 

question in this case is not that to which and more all 

vrill agree, whether there shall be addition to the 

question." — i Grey, 365. 

Another exception to the rule of priority is, when 
a motion has been made to strike out or agree to a 
paragraph. Motions to amend it are to be put to the 
question, before a vote is taken on striking out, or 
agreeing to the whole paragraph. 

But there are several questions, which, being inci- 
dental to every one, will take place of every one, priv- 
ileged or not; to wit, a question of order arising out 
of any other question, must be decided before that 
question. — 2 Hats. 88. 

A matter of privilege arising out of any question, 
or from a quarrel between two members, or any other 
cause, supersedes the consideration of the original 
question, and must first be disposed of. — 2 Hats. 88. 

Reading papers relative to the question before the 
House. This question must be put before the prin- 
cipal one. — 2 Hats. 88. 

Leave asked to withdraw a motion. The rule of 
Parliament being, that a motion made and seconded 
is in possession of the House, and cannot be with- 
drawn without leave, the very terms of the rule imply 
that leave may be given, and, consequently, may be 
asked and put to the question. 


398 Jefferson's Works 



When any question is before the House, any mem- ' 
bar may move a previous question, " Whether that , 
question (called the main question) shall now be ^ 
put?" If it pass in the affirmative, then the main.^ 
question is to be put immediately, and no man may^ 

speak anything further to it, either to add or alter. 

Memor. in Hakew. 28; 4 Grey, 27. 

The previous cjuestion being moved and seconded. Ihe question fi 
the chair shall be, "Shall the main question be now put V and if tl^h. « 
nays prevail, the main question shall not then be put, — Rttie 5. 

This kind of question is understood by Mr. Hatse-T/ 
to have been introduced in 1604. — 2 Hats. 80. Sir 
Henry Vane introduced it. — 2Grcy, 113. 114; ^Grey, 
384. When the question was put in this form. "ShaB 
the main question be put?" a determination in the 
negative suppressed the main question during the 
session; but since the words "now put" are used, 
they exclude it for the present only. Formerly, , 
indeed, only till the present debate was over; 4 Grey, J 
43 ; but now for that day and no longer. — 2 Grey, 113, J^ 

Before the question, " Whether the main ques 
shall now be put?" any person might formerly hail 
spoken to the main question, becaiase otherwise j 
would be precluded from speaking to it at all. — M% 
in Hakew. 28. 

Parliamentary Manual 399 

The proper occasion for the previous question is, 
^When a subject is brought forward of a delicate nature 
as to high personages, etc., or the discussion of which 
may call forth observations which might be of inju- 
rious consequences. Then the previous question is 
proposed, and, in the modem usage, the discussion 
of the main question is suspended, and the debate 
confined to the previous question. The use of it has 
been extended abusively to other cases ; but in these, 
it is an embarrassing procedure : its uses would be as 
well answered by other more simple Parliamentary 
forms, and therefore it should not be favored, but 
restricted within as narrow limits as possible. 

Whether a main question may be amended after 
the previous question on it has been moved and 
seconded? 2 Hatsell, 88, says, If the previous ques- 
tion had been moved and seconded, and also pro- 
posed from the chair, (by which he means, stated by 
the Speaker for debate,) it has been doubted whether 
an amendment can be admitted to the main question. 
He thinks it may, after the previous question moved 
and seconded; but not after it has been proposed 
from the chair. 

In this case he thinks the friends to the amend- 
ment must vote that the main question be not now 
put, and then move their amended question, which 
being made new by the amendment, is no longer the 
same which has been just suppressed, and therefore 
may be proposed as a new one. But this proceeding 
certainly endangers the main question, by dividing 

400 Jefferson's Works 

its friends, some of whom may choose it imamended, 
rather than lose it altogether; while others of them 
may vote, as Hatsell advises, that the main question 
be not now put, with a view to move it again in an 
amended form. The enemies of the main question 
by this manoeuvre to the previous question, get the 
enemies to the amendment added to them on the first 
vote, and throw the friends of the main question 
under the embarrassment of rallying again as they 
can. To support his opinion, too, he makes the 
deciding circumstance, whether an amendment may 
or may not be made, to be, that the previous ques- 
tion has been proposed from the chair. But as the 
rule is, that the House is in possession of a question 
as soon as it is moved and seconded, it cannot be 
more than possessed of it by its being also proposed 
from the chair. It may be said, indeed, that the 
object of the previous question being to get rid of a 
question, which it is not expedient should be dis- 
cussed, this object may be defeated by moving to 
amend, and, in the discussion of that motion, involv- 
ing the subject of the main question. But so may 
the object of the previous question be defeated by 
moving the amended question, as Mr. Hatsell pro- 
poses, after the decision against putting the original 
question. He acknowledges, too, that the practice 
has been to admit previous amendment, and only 
cites a few late instances to the contrary. On the 
whole, I should think it best to decide it a6 incon- 
venienti; to wit, Which is most inconvenient, to put 

Parliamentary Manual 401 

it in the pcwer of one side of the House to defeat a 
proposition by hastily moving the previous ques- 
tion and thus forcing the main question to be put 
amended ? or to put it in the power of the other side 
to force on, incidentally at least, a discussion which 
would be better avoided ? Perhaps the last is the 
least inconvenience; inasmuch as the Speaker, by 
confining the discussion rigorously to the amend- 
ment only, may prevent their going into the main 
question; and inasmuch also, as so great a propor- 
tion of the cases, in which the previous question is 
called for, are fair and proper subjects of public 
discussion, and ought not to be obstructed by a 
formality introduced for questions of a peculiar 



On an amendment being moved, a member who 
has spoken to the main question may speak again to 
the amendment. — Scob. 23. 

If an amendment be proposed inconsistent with 
one already agreed to, it is a fit groxmd for its rejec- 
tion by the House ; but not within the competence of 
the Speaker to suppress, as if it were against order. 
For, were he permitted to draw questions of consist- 
ence within the vortex of order, he might usurp a 
negative on important modifications, and suppress 
instead of subserving the legislative will. 

VOL. II — 26 

402 Jefferson's Works 

Amendments may be made so as totally to alter 
the nature of the proposition ; and it is a way of get- 
ting rid of a proposition, by making it bear a sense 
different from what was intended by the movers, so 
that they vote against it themselves. — 2 Hats. 79; 
4, 82, 84. A new bill may be ingrafted, by way of 
amendment, on the words, " Be it enacted,'* &c.— 
I Grey, 190, 192. 

If it be proposed to amend by leaving out certain 
words, it may be moved as an amendment to this 
amendment, to leave out a part of the words of the 
amendment, which is equivalent to leaving them in 
the bill. — 2 Hats. 80, 9. The ParUamentary question 
is always. Whether the words shall stand part of the 

When it is proposed to amend by inserting a para- 
graph, or part of one, the friends of the paragraph 
may make it as perfect as they can, by amendments, 
before the question is put for inserting it. If it be 
received, it cannot be amended afterwards, in the 
same stage, because the House has, on a vote, agreed 
to it in that form. In Hke manner, if it is proposed 
to amend by striking out a paragraph, the friends of 
the paragraph are first to make it as perfect as they 
can by amendments, before the question is put for 
striking it out. If, on the question, it be retained, it 
cannot be amended afterwards; because a vote 
against striking out is equivalent to a vote agreeing 
to it in that form. 

When it is moved to amend, by striking out certain 

Parliamentary Manual 403 

words and inserting others, the manner of stating the 
question is, first to read the whole passage to be 
amended, as it stands at present ; then the words pro- 
posed to be struck out; next those to be inserted; 
and lastly, the whole passage, as it will be when 
amended. And the question, if desired, is then to 
be divided, and put first on striking out. If carried, 
it is next on inserting the words proposed. If that 
be lost, it may be moved to insert others. — 2 Hats. 
80, 7. 

A motion is made to amend by striking out certain 
words, and inserting others in their place, which is 
negatived. Then it is moved to strike out the same 
words, and to insert others of a tenor entirely differ- 
ent from those first proposed. It is negatived. Then 
it is moved to strike out the same words and insert 
nothing, which is agreed to. All this is admissible; 
because to strike out and insert A, is one proposition. 
To strike out and insert B, is a different proposition. 
And to strike out and insert nothing is still differ- 
ent. And the rejection of one proposition does not 
preclude the offering a different one. Nor would it 
change the case were the first motion divided by put- 
ting the question first on striking out, and that nega- 
tived. For as putting the whole motion to the ques- 
tion at once would not have precluded, the putting 
the half of it cannot do it.' 

^ In a case of division of the question, and a decision against striking 
out, I advance, doubtingly, the opinion here expressed. I find no 
authority either way; and I know it may be viewed under a different 


Jefferson's Works 

But if it had been carried affirmatively to strike 
out the words and to insert A, it could not afterwards 
be permitted to strike out A and insert B. The 
mover of B should have notified, while the insertion ' 
of A was under debate, that he would move to insert 
B. In whicli case, those who preferred it would jan 
in rejecting A. 

After A is inserted, however, it may be moved to 
strike out a portion of the original paragraph, com- 
prehending A, provided the coherence to be struck 
out be so substantial as to make this effectively a dif- 
ferent proposition. For then it is resolved into the 
common case of striking out a paragraph after 
amending it. Nor does anything forbid a new insff- 
tion, instead of A and its coherence. 

In Senate, January 25, 1798, a motion to postpone, 
until the second Tuesday in February', some amend- 
ments proposed to the Constitution. The words, 
" until the second Tuesday in February," were struck 
out by way of amendment. Then it was moved to 
add, " imtil the first day of June." Objected, that it 
was not in order, as the question should first be put 
on the longest time ; therefore, a shorter time decided 
against, a longer cannot be put to question. It was 
answered, that this rule taies place only in filling 

aspect. It may be thought, that having decided separaldy not to 
strike out the passage, the same question for strikinE out cannot be put 
over again, though with a view to a different insertion. Still I thick 
it more reasonable and convenient to consider the striking out and 
insertion as forming oni- proposition; but should readily yield to aaj 
cadence that the contrary is the practice in Parliament. 

Parliamentary Manual 405 

blanks for time. But when a specific time stands 
part of a motion, that may be struck out as well as 
any other part of the motion ; and when struck out, 
a motion may be received to insert any other. In 
fact, it is not till they are struck out, and a blank for 
the time thereby produced, that the rule can begin to 
operate, by receiving all the propositions for different 
times, and putting the questions successively on the 
longest. Otherwise, it would be in the power of the 
mover, by inserting originally a short time, to pre- 
clude the possibility of a longer. For, till the short 
time is struck out, you cannot insert a longer; and 
if, after it is struck out, you cannot do it, then it can- 
not be done at all. Suppose the first motion has been 
to amend by striking out "the second Tuesday in 
February," and inserting, instead thereof, "the first 
of June." It would have been regular then to divide 
the question, by proposing first the question to strike 
out and then that to insert. Now, this is precisely 
the effect of the present proceeding ; only, instead of 
one motion and two questions, there are two motions 
and two questions to effect it; the motion being 
divided as well as the question. 

When the matter contained in two bills might be 
better put into one, the manner is to reject the one, 
and incorporate its matter into another bill by way 
of amendment. So, if the matter of one bill would 
be better distributed into two, any part may be 
struck out by way of amendment, and put into a new 
bill. If a section is to be transposed, a question must 

4o6 Jefferson's Works 

be put on striking it out where it stands, and another 
for inserting it in the place desired. 

A bill passed by the one House, with blanks. 
These may be filled up by the other, by way of 
amendments, returned to the first, as such, and 
passed. — 3 Hats. 83. 

The number prefixed to the section of a bill being 
merely a marginal indication, and no part of the text 
of the bill, the clerk regulates that; the House or 
committee is only to amend the text, 



If a question contain more parts than one, it may 
be divided into two or more questions. — Mem. in 
Hakew. 29. But not as the right of an individual 
member, but with the consent of the House. For 
who is to decide whether a question is complicated 
or not? where it is comphcated? into how many 
propositions it may be divided? The fact is, that 
the only mode of separating a complicated question 
is by moving amendments to it ; and these must be 
decided by the House on a question, unless the House 
orders it to be divided: as on the question, Dec 2. 
1640, making void the election of the Knights of 
Worcester, on a motion it was resolved to make two 
questions of it, to wit, one on each Knight. — 3 Hois. 
85, 86. So, wherever there are several names in a 
question, they may be divided, and put one by one.— 

Parliamentary Manual 407 

9 Greyy 444. So, 1729, April 17, on an objection that 
a question was complicated, it was separated by 
amendment. — 2 Hais. 79. 5. 

The soundness of these observations will be evident from the embar- 
rassments produced by the loth rule of the Senate, which says, "If 
the question in debate contain several points, any member may have 
the same divided. 

1798, May 30, the alien bill in quasi-committee. 
To a section and proviso in the original, had been 
added two new provisos by way of amendment. On 
a motion to strike out the section as amended, the 
question was desired to be divided. To do this, it 
must be put first on striking out either the former 
proviso, or some distinct member of the section. 
But when nothing remains but the last member of 
the section, and the provisos, they cannot be divided 
so as to put the last member to question by itself; 
for the provisos might thus be left standing alone as 
exceptions to a rule when the rule is taken away : or 
the new provisos might be left to a second question, 
after having been decided on once before at the same 
reading; which is contrary to rule. But the question 
must be on striking out the last member of the section 
as amended. This sweeps away the exceptions with 
the rule, and relieves from inconsistence. A question 
to be divisible, must comprehend points so distinct 
and entire, that one of them being taken away, the 
other may stand entire. But a proviso or exception, 
with an enacting clause, does not contain an entire 
point or proposition. 

Jefferson's Works ^ 

May 31. The same bill being before the Senate. 
There was a proviso, that the bill should not extend. 
I. To any foreign minister; nor, 2. To any person 
to whom the President should give a passjrart; nor, 
3. To any alien merchant, conforming himself to 
such regulations as the President shall prescribe; 
and division of the question into its simplest ele- 
ments was called for. It was divided into four 
parts, the fourth taking in the words "conforming 
himself," etc. It was objected, that the words 
"any alien merchant" could not be separated from 
their modifying words "conforming," etc., because 
these words, if left by themselves, contain no sub- 
stantive idea, will make no sense. But admitting 
that the divisions of a paragraph into separate 
questions must be so made as that each part may 
stand by itself, yet the House having, on the ques-' 
tion, retained the first two divisions, the words 
"any alien merchant" may be struck out, and their 
modifying words will then attach themselves to 
the preceding description of persons, and become a 
modification of that description. 

When a question is divided, after the question on 
the first member, the second is open to debate and 
amendment: because it is a known rule, that a 
person may rise and speak at any time before the 
question has been completely decided by putting 
the negative, as well as the afBrmative side. But 
the question is not completely put when the vote 
has been taken on the first member only. One half 

Parliamentary Manual 409 

of the question, both affirmative and negative, still 
remains to be put. — See Executive Journ,, Jtme 25, 
1795. The same decision by President Adams. 



It may be asked whether the House can be in pos- 
session of two motions or propositions at the same 
time ? So that, one of them being decided, the other 
goes to question without being moved anew? The 
answer must be special. When a question is inter- 
rupted by a vote of adjournment, it is thereby re- 
moved from before the House ; and does not stand 
ipso facto before them at their next meeting, but 
must come forward in the usual way: so, when it is 
• interrupted by the order of the day. Such other 
privileged questions also as dispose of the main ques- 
tion {e. g. the previous question, the postponement, 
or commitment) remove it from before the House. 
But it is only suspended by a motion to amend, to 
withdraw, to read papers, or by a question of order 
or privilege, and stands again before the House when 
these are decided. None but the class of privileged 
questions can be brought forward while there is 
another question before the House; the rule being, 
that when a motion has been made and seconded no 
other can be received except it be a privileged one. 

4IO Jefferson's Works 



If, on a question for rejection, a bill be retained, 
it passes of course to its next reading. — Hakew, 141. 
Scob. 42, and a question for a second reading deter- 
mined negatively, is a rejection without farther ques- 
tion. — 4 Grey, 149. And see Elsynge's Mentor. 42, 
in what case questions are to be taken for rejection. 

Where questions are perfectly equivalent, so that 
the negative of the one amounts to the affirmative of 
the other, and leaves no other alternative, the deci- 
sion of the one concludes necessarily the other. — 
4 Grey, 157. Thus the negative of striking out 
amoimts to the affirmative of agreeing; and there- 
fore to put a question on agreeing after that on strik- 
ing out, would be to put the same question in effect 
twice over. Not so in questions of amendments 
between the two Houses. A motion to recede being 
negatived, does not amount to a positive vote to 
insist, because there is another alternative, to wit, 
to adhere. 

A bill originating in one House, is passed by the 
other with an amendment. A motion in the orig- 
inating House, to agree to the amendment, is nega- 
tived. Do these result from this vote of disagree- 
ment? or must the question on disagreement be 
expressly voted? The questions respecting amend- 
ments from another House are, ist. To agree: 2d. 
Disagree: 3d. Recede: 4th. Insist: 5th. Adhere, 

Parliamentary Manual 411 

I St. To agree. f Either of these concludes the 

2d. To disagree. 1 other necessarily, for the posi- 
tive of either is exactly the 
equivalent of the negative of 
the other, and no other alterna- 
tive remains. On either motion, 
amendments to the amendment 
may be proposed; e. g. if it be 
moved to disagree, those who 
are for the amendment have a 
right to propose amendments, 
and to make it as perfect as they 
can, before the question of dis- 
agreeing is put. 
3d. To recede. f You may then either insist or 
4th. To insist. < adhere. You may then either 
Sth. To adhere. ( recede or adhere. You may 

then either recede or insist. 
Consequently, the negative of 
these is not equivalent to a 
positive vote the other way. 
It does not raise so necessary 
an implication as may authorize 
the secretary by inference to 
enter another vote; for two 
alternatives still remain, either 
of which may be adopted by 
the House. 

412 Jefferson's Works 



The question is to be put first on the affirmative, 
and then on the negative side. 

After the Speaker has put the affirmative part of 
the question, any member who has not spoken before 
the question, may rise and speak before the n^ative 
be put. Because it is no full question till the nega- 
tive part be put. — Scob. 23; Hats. 73. 

But in small matters, and which are of course, such 
as receiving petitions, reports, withdrawing motions, 
reading papers, etc., the Speaker most commonly 
supposes the consent of the House, where no objec- 
tion is expressed, and does not give them the trouble 
of putting the question formally. — Scob. 22; 2 Hats. 
87. 2. 87; s Greyy 129; 9 Grey, 301. 



To prevent bills from being passed by surprise, the 
House, by a standing order, directs that they shall 
not be put on their passage before a fixed hour, 
naming one at which the House is commonly full.— 
Hakew. 153. 

The usage of the Senate is. not to put bills on their passage till noon. 

A bill reported and passed to the third reading, 
cannot on that day be read the third time and passed. 

Parliamentary Manual 413 

Because this wotild be to pass on two readings on the 
same day. At the third reading, the clerk reads the 
bill, and delivers it to the Speaker, who states the 
title, that it is the third time of reading the bill, and 
that the question will be. Whether it shall pass? 
Formerly, the Speaker, or those who prepared a bill, 
prepared also a breviate or summary statement of 
its contents, which the Speaker read when he declared 
the state of the bill at the several readings. Some- 
times, however, he read the bill itself, especially on 
its passage. — Hakew. 136, 137, 153; Coke, 22, 115. 
Latterly, instead of this, he, at the third reading, 
states the whole contents of the bill, verbatim ; only 
instead of reading the formal parts, **be it enacted," 
etc., he states that "the preamble recites so and so; 
the first section enacts, that, etc. ; the second section 
enacts," etc. 

But in the Senate of the United States, both of these formalities are 
dispensed with; the breviate presenting but an imperfect view of the 
bill, and being capable of being made to present a false one; and the 
ftdl statement being a useless waste of time, immediately after a full 
reading by the clerk; and especially as every member has a printed 
copy in his hand. 

A bill, on the third reading, is not to be committed 
for the matter or body thereof; but, to receive some 
particular clause or proviso, it hath been sometimes 
suffered, but as a thing very unusual. — Hakew. 156; 
thus, 27 El. 1584, a bill was committed on the third 
reading, having been formerly committed on the 
second; but it is declared not usual. — D'Ewes, 137, 

col. 2. 4x4. col. 2. 

414 Jefferson's Works 

When an essential provision has been omitted, 
rather than erase the bill, and render it suspicious, 
they add a clause on a separate paper, engrossed and 
called a rider, which is read, and put to the question 
three times. — Elsynge's Memorials ^ 59; 6 Grey, 335; 
I Blackst. 183. For examples of riders, see 3 Hats. 
121, 122, 124, 126. Every one is at liberty to bring 
in a rider without asking leave. — 10 Grey, 52. 

It is laid down as a general rule, that amendments 
proposed at the second reading shall be twice read, 
and those proposed at the third reading thrice read ; 
as also all amendments from the other House. — 
Town. col. 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. 

It is with great, and almost invincible reluctance, 
that amendments are admitted at this reading, which 
occasion erasures or interlineations. Sometimes the 
proviso has been cut off from a bill; sometimes 
erased. — 9 Grey, 513. 

This is the proper stage for filling up blanks; for 
if filled up before, and now altered by erasure, it 
would be peculiarly unsafe. 

At this reading, the bill is debated afresh, and for 
the most part is more spoken to, at this time, than 
on any of the former readings. — Hakew. 153. 

The debate on the question. Whether it should be 
read a third time? has discovered to its friends and 
opponents the arguments on which each side relies, 
and which of these appear to have influence with the 
House ; they have had time to meet them with new 
arjT^uments, and to put their old ones into new shapes. 

Parliamentary Manual 415 

The former vote has tried the strength of the first 
opinion, and f timished grounds to estimate the issue ; 
and the question now offered for its passage, is the 
last occasion which is ever to be offered for carrying 
or rejecting it. 

When the debate is ended, the Speaker, holding 
the bill in his hand, puts the question for its passage, 
by saying, " Gentlemen, all you who are of opinion 
that this bill shall pass, say ay;" and after the 
answer of ayes, '*A11 those of the contrary opinion, 
say no." — Hakew. 154. 

After the bill has passed, there can be no further 
alteration of it in any point. — Hakew. 159. 



The affirmative and negative of the question 
having been both put and answered, the Speaker 
declares whether the yeas or nays have it by the 
sound, if he be himself satisfied, and it stands as the 
judgment of the House. But if he be not himself 
satisfied which voice is the greater, or if, before any 
other member comes into the House, or before any 
new motion is made, (for it is too late after that,) 
any member shall rise and declare himself dissatis- 
fied with the Speaker's decision, then the Speaker 
is to divide the House. — Scoh. 24; 2 Hats. 140. 

When the House of Commons is divided, the one 
party goes forth, and the other remains in the House. 

4i<5 Jefferson^s Works 

This has made it important which go forth, and 
which remain; because the latter gain all the indo- 
lent, the indifferent, and inattentive. Their general 
rule, therefore, is, that those who give their vote for 
the preservation of the orders of the House shall stay 
in, and those who are for introducing any new mat- 
ter, or alteration, or proceeding contrary to the estab- 
lished course, are to go out. But this rule is subject 
to many exceptions and modifications. — 2 Rush. p. 
3, fol. 92; Scob. 43, 52; Co. 12, 116; D'EweSy 505, 
col. I ; Mem. in Hakew. 25, 29; as will appear by the 
following statement of who go forth. 

Petition that it be received* . . ) a,, ^ 

Read P^^- 

Lie on the table 

Rejected after refusal to lie on 

the table 

Referred to a committee, or) * 

farther proceeding J ^^^^ 

Bill, that it be brought in ... . 

Read ist or 2d time 

Engrossed or read 3d time . . . 
Proceeding on every other 



To a committee of the whole . Noes. 

To a select committee Ayes. 

Report of a bill to lie on table Noes. 

*Noes. — 9 Grays, 365. 



Parliamentary Manual 



Be now read 

Be taken into consideration 
three months hence 

Amendments be read a 2d | 
time J 

Clatise offered on report of bill 
be read 2d time 

For receiving a clause 

With amendments be en- 

That a bill be now read a 3d 

Receive a rider 


Be printed 

Committees. That A take 
the chair 

To agree to the whole or any 

^ part of report 

That the House do now re- 
solve into a committee .... 

Speaker. That he now leave 
the chair, after order to go 
into committee 

That he issue warrant for a 
new visit 

Member. That none be ab- 
sent without leave 

Witness. That he be farther 1 
examined j 

▼OL. II — 27 

SO P. J 


Ayes. 334 

Noes. 398 

Ayes. 259 



Ayes. 344 

Jefferson's Works 

Previous questions 

Blanks. That they be filled 
with the largest sum 

Amendments. That words 
stand part of 

Lords. That their amend- 
ments be read a 2d time . . . 

Messenger be received 

Orders of the day to be now 
read, if before 2 o'clock. . . . 

If after 2 o'clock 

Adjournment till the next sit- 
ting day, if before 4 o'clock, 

If after 4 o'clock 

Over a sitting day, (unless a 
previous resolution) 

Over the 30th January 

For sitting on Simday, or any 
other day, not being a sit- 
ting day 





The one party being gone forth, the Speaker 
names two tellers from the affirmative, and two 
from the negative side, who first count those sitting 
in the House, and report the number to the Speaker. 
Then they place themselves within the door, two on 
each side, and count those who went forth, as they 
come in, and report the number to the Speaker.— 
Mem. in Hakcw. 26. 

A mistake in the report of the tellers may be recti- 
fied after the report made. — 2 Hats. 145. Note. 

Parliamentary Manual 419 

But, in both Houses of Congress, all those intricacies are avoided. 
«l^e ayes first rise, and are counted, standing in their places, by the 
^Vcsident or Speaker. Then they sit, and the noes rise, and are 
Counted in like manner. 

In Senate, if they be equally divided, the A^ce-President announces 
^s opinion, which decides. 

The Constitution, however, has directed that *'the yeas and najrs 
>f the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire 
>f one- fifth of those present, be entered on the journal." And again, 
-hat in all cases of re-considering a bill disapproved by the President, 
ind returned with his objections, '*the votes of both Houses shall be 
ietermined by the yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting 
'Or and against the bill, shall be entered on the journals of each House 

By the nth rule of the Senate, when the yeas and nays shall be 
-ailed for by one-fifth of the members present, each member called 
:tpon shall, unless for sp>ecial reasons he be excused by the Senate, 
leclare openly, and without debate, his assent or dissent to the ques- 
:ion. In taking the yeas and nays, and upon the call of the House, the 
lames of the members shall be taken alphabetically. 

When it is proposed to take a vote by yeas and nays, the President 
>r Speaker states that ''The question is whether, e. g., the bill shall 
;>ass ? That it is proposed that the yeas and nays shall be entered on 
;he journal. Those, therefore, who desire it will rise.** If he finds 
%nd declares that one-fifth have risen, he then states, that "those who 
ire of opinion that the bill shall pass, are to answer in the affirmative, 
those of the contrary opinion, in the negative.** The clerk then calls 
>ver the names alphabetically, notes the yea or nay of each, and gives 
the list to the President or Speaker, who declares the result. In 
Senate, if there be an equal division, the Secretary calls on the Vice- 
EVesident, who notes his affirmative or negative, which becomes the 
iecision of the House. 

In the House of Commons, every member mtist 
§^ve his vote the one way or the other. — Scob. 24. 
As it is not permitted to any one to withdraw who 
IS in the House when the question is put, nor is any 
3ne to be told in the division who was not in when 
the question was put, — 2 Hats. 140. 

4«o Jefferson's Works 

This last position is always true when the vote is 
by yeas and nays ; where the negative as well as the 
affirmative of the question is stated by the President 
at the same time, and the vote of both sides begins 
and proceeds pari passu. It is true, also, when the 
question is put in the usual way, if the negative has 
also been put. But if it has not, the member enter- 
ing, or any other member may speak, and even pro- 
pose amendments, by which the debate may be 
opened again, and the question greatly deferred. 
And, as some who have answered ay, may have 
been changed by the new arguments, the affirmative 
must be put over again. If, then, the member enter- 
ing may, by speaking a few words, occasion a rqje- 
tition of the question, it would be useless to deny it 
on his simple call for it. 

While the House is telling, no member may speak, 
or move out of his place; for, if any mistake be sus- 
pected, it must be told again. — Mem. in Hakew. 36; 
2 Hats. 143. 

If any difficulty arises in point of order, during 
the division, the Speaker is to decide peremptorily, 
subject to the future censure of the House, if irr^- 
lar. He sometimes permits old experienced mem- 
bers to assist him with their advice, which they do 
sitting in their seats, covered to avoid the appear- 
ance of debate; but this can only be with the Speak- 
er's leave, else the division might last several hours.— 
2 Hats. 143. 

The voice of the majority decides. For the Us 

Parliamentary Manual 421 

majoris partis is the law of all councils, elections, 
etc., where not otherwise expressly provided. — 
Hakew. 93. But if the House be equally divided, 
'* semper presufnatur pro negante:'* that is, the 
former law is not to be changed but by a majority. — 
Towns, col. 134. 

But, in the Senate of the United States, the Vice-President decides, 
when the House is divided.^-Const. U, 5. Art. I. Sec. a. 

When, from counting the House, on a division, it 
appears that there is not a quorum, the matter con- 
tinues exactly in the state in which it was before the 
division, and must be restimed at that point on any 
future day. — 2 Hats. 126. 

1606, May I, on a question whether a member 
having said Yea, may afterwards sit and change his 
opinion? a precedent was remembered by the 
Speaker, of Mr. Morris, attorney of the wards, in 
39 Eliz.y who in like case changed his opinion. — 
Mem. in Hakew. 27. 



After the bill has passed, and not before, the title 
may be amended, and is to be fixed by a question; 
and the bill is then sent to the other House. 

422 Jefferson's Works 



When a question has been once made and carried in the affirmative 
or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority to move 
for the re-consideration thereof. — Rule 22. 

1798, Jan. A bill on its second reading, being amended, and on the 
question, whether it shall be read a third time negatived, was restored 
by a decision to re-consider the question. Here the votes of negative 
and re-consideration, like positive and negative quantities in equation, 
destroy one another*, and are as if they were expunged from the jour- 
nals. Consequently the bill is open for amendment, just so far as it 
was the moment preceding the question for the third reading. That is 
to say, all parts of the bill arc open for amendment, except those on 
which votes have been already taken in its present stage. So also may 
it be re-committed. 

The rule permitting a re-consideration of a question affixing to it no 
limitation of time or circumstance, it may be asked whether there is 
no limitation ? If, after the vote, the paper on which it has passed has 
been parted with, there can be no re-consideration: as if a vote has 
been for the passage of a bill, and the bill has been sent to the other 
House. But where the paper remains, as on a bill rejected, when, or 
under what circtunstances, does it cease to be susceptible of re-con- 
sideration ? This remains to be settled, unless a sense that the right 
of re-consideration is a right to waste the time of the House in repeated 
agitations of the same question, so that it shall never know when a 
question is done with, shovdd induce them to reform this anomalous 

In Parliament, a question once carried, cannot be 
questioned again, at the same session; but must 
stand as the judgment of the House. — Toivns. col 
67 ; Mentor, in Hakew. 33. And a bill once rejected, 
another of the same substance cannot be brought 
in again the same session. — Hakew, 158; 6 Grey, 392. 
But this does not extend to prevent putting the 
same questions in different stages of a bill ; because 
every stage of a bill submits the whole and every 

Parliamentary Manual 423 

part of it to the opinion of the House, as open for 
amendment, either by insertion or omission, though 
the same amendment has been accepted or rejected 
in a former stage. So in reports of committees, 
e. g. report of an address, the same question is before 
the House, and open for free discussion. — Towns, 
col. 26; 2 Hats. 98, 100, loi. So, orders of the 
House, or instructions to committees may be dis- 
charged. So a bill begun in one House, sent to the 
other, and there rejected, may be renewed again in 
that other, passed, and sent back. — lb. 92 ; 3 Hats. 
161. Or if, instead of being rejected, they read it 
once, and lay it aside, and put it off a month, they 
may offer in another to the same effect, with the 
same or a different title. — Hakew. 97, 98. 

Divers expedients are used to correct the effects of 
this rule; as, by passing an explanatory act, if any- 
thing has been omitted or ill-expressed, 3 Hats. 278; 
or an act to enforce, and make more effectual an act, 
&c., or to rectify mistakes in an act, &c.; or a com- 
mittee on one bill may be instructed to receive a 
clause to rectify the mistakes of another. Thus, 
June 24, 1685, a clause was inserted in a bill for recti- 
fying a mistake committed by a clerk in engrossing 
a bill of reply. — 2 Hats. 194. 6. Or the session may 
be closed for one, two, three, or more days, and a 
new one commenced. But then all matters depend- 
ing must be finished, or they fall, and are to begin 
de novo. — 2 Hats. 94, 98. Or a part of the subject 

484 Jefferson's Works 

may be taken up by another bill, or taken i 
different way. — 6 Grey, 316. 

And in cases of the last magnitude, this rule has 
not been so strictly and verbally observed as to stop 
indispensable proceedings altogether. — 2 Hais. 92. 
98. Thus, when the address on the preliminaries of 
peace, in 1782, had been lost by a majority of one; 
on account of the importance of the question, and 
smallness of the majority, the same question in sub- 
stance, though with words not in the first, and which 
might change the opinions of some members, was 
brought on again and carried: as the motives for it 
were thought to outweigh the objections of form. — 
2 Hats. 99, 100. 

A second bill may be passed, to continue an act of 
tiie same session ; or to enlarge the time limited for 
its execution. — 2 Hats. 95, 98. This is not in con- 
tradiction to the first act. 




All bills passed in the Senate, shall before they are sent to the Hi 
of Representatives, be examined by the committees respectividy 
brought in such bills, or to whom the same have been last committed 
in Senate. — Ruie 33. 

A bill from the other House is sometimes ordered 
to lie on the table. — 2 Hats. 97. 

When bills, passed in one House and sent to the 
other, are grounded on special facts requiring proof. 
it is usual, either by message, or at a conference, to 

Parliamentary Manual 4^5 

ask the grounds and evidence; and this evidence, 
whether arising out of papers, or from the examina- 
tion of witnesses, is immediately commtmicated. — 
3 Hats. 48. 



When either House, e. g. the House of Conmions, 
sends a bill to the other, the other may pass it with 
amendments. The regular progression in this case 
is, that the Conunons disagree to the amendment; 
the Lords insist on it; the Commons insist on their 
disagreement; the Lords adhere to their amend- 
ment; the Commons adhere to their disagreement. 
The term of insisting may be repeated as often as 
they choose, to keep the question open. But the 
first adherence by either renders it necessary for the 
other side to recede or adhere also ; when the matter 
is usually suffered to fall. — 10 Grey, 148. Latterly, 
however, there are instances of their having gone to 
a second adherence. There must be an absolute 
conclusion of the subject somewhere, or otherwise 
transactions between the Houses would be endless. — 
3 Hats. 268, 270. The term of insisting, we are told 
by Sir John Trevor, was then [1679] newly intro- 
duced into Parliamentary usage, by the Lords. — 7 
Grey, 94. It was certainly a happy innovation, as it 
multiplies the opportimities of trying modifications 
which may bring the House to a concurrence. 

426 Jefferson's Works 

Either House, however, is free to pass over the term 
of insisting, and to adhere in the first instance. — lo 
Grey, 146. But it is not respectful to the other. In 
the ordinary Parliamentary course, there are two 
free conferences at least before adherence. — 10 
Greyy 147. 

Either House may recede from its amendment, 
and agree to the bill; or recede from their disagree- 
ment to the amendment, and agree to the same abso- 
lutely, or with an amendment. For here the disa- 
greement and receding destroy one another, and the 
subject stands as before the disagreement. — Elsynge, 
23» 27; 9 Grey, 476. 

But the House cannot recede from or insist on, its 
own amendment with an amendment, for the same 
reason that it cannot send to the other House an 
amendment to its own act after it has passed the act. 
They may modify an amendment from the other 
House by ingrafting an amendment on it, because 
they have never assented to it; but they cannot 
amend their own amendment, because they have, 
on the question, passed it in that form; 9 Grey, 353; 
10 Grey, 240. In Senate, March 29, 1798. Nor 
where one House has adhered to their amendment, 
and the other agrees with an amendment, can the 
first House depart from the form which they have 
fixed by an adherence. 

In the case of a money bill, the Lords' proposed 
amendments become, by delay, confessedly neces- 
sary. The Commons, however, refused them, as 

Parliamentary Manual 427 

infringing on their privilege as to money bills, but 
they offered themselves to add to the bill a proviso 
to the same effect, which had no coherence with the 
Lords' amendments, and urged, that it was an expe- 
dient warranted by precedent, and not unparlia- 
mentary in a case become impracticable, and irre- 
mediable in any other way. — 3 Hats. 256, 266, 270, 
271. But the Lords refused and the bill was lost, 
I Chand. 288. A like case, i Chand, 311. So the 
Commons resolve, that it is unparliamentary to strike 
out at a conference anything in a bill which hath 
been agreed and passed by both Houses, 6 Grey, 274; 
I Chand. 312. 

A motion to amend an amendment from the other 
House, takes precedence of a motion to agree or 

A bill originating in one House, is passed by the 
other with an amendment. 

The originating House agrees to their amendment 
with an amendment. The other may agree to their 
amendment with an amendment; that being only 
in the second and not the third degree. For, as to 
the amending House, the first amendment with 
which they passed the bill is a part of its text; it is 
the only text they have agreed to. The amendment 
to that text by the originating House, therefore, is 
only in the first degree, and the amendment to that 
again by the amending House is only in the second, 
to wit, an amendment to an amendment, and so admis- 
sible. Just so when, on a bill from the originating 

House, the other, at its second reading, makes j 
amendment; on the third reading, this amendnienfrJ 
is become the text of the bill, and if an amendments 
to it be moved, an amendment to that amendment* 
may also be moved, as being only in the second! 



It is on the occasion of amendments between thfffl 
Houses that conferences are usually asked; but] 
they may be asked in all cases of difference of opinioiM 
between the two Houses on matters dependingj 
between them. The request of a conference, how-" 
ever, must always be by the House which is possessed 
of the papers. — ^Hais.^i; iGrey,^^^; 4 Hats. ^.^^. 

Conferences may be either simple or free. At a 
conference simply, written reasons are prepared by 
the House asking it, and they are read and delivered 
without debate, to the managers of the other House 
at the conference ; but are not then to be answered. 
— 3 Grey, 144. The other House then, if satisfied, 
vote the reasons satisfactory, or say nothing; if not 
satisfied, they resolve them not satisfactory, and ask 1 
a conference on the subject of the last conference, , 
where they read and deliver in like manner written! 
answers to those reasons. — 3 Grey, 183. They are 
meant chiefly to record the justification of each Hon: 
to the nation at large, and to jxjsterity, and in pit 
that the miscarriage of a necessary measure is nl 

Parliamentary Manual 4^9 

imputable to them. — 3 Grey, 255. At free confer- 
ences, the managers discuss viva voce and freely, and 
interchange propositions for such modifications as 
may be made in a Parliamentary way, and may 
bring the sense of the two Houses together. And 
each party reports in writing to their respective 
Houses the substance of what is said on both sides, 
and it is entered in their journals. — 6 Grey^ 220; 
3 Hats. 280. {yide Joint Rules, 1 .) This report cannot 
be amended or altered as that of a committee may 
be. — Journ. Senate, May 24, 1796. 

A conference may be asked, before the House ask- 
ing it has come to a resolution of disagreement, insist- 
ing or adhering. — 3 Hats. 269, 341. In which case 
the papers are not left with the other conferees, but 
are brought back to be the foundation of the vote to be 
given. And this is the most reasonable and respect- 
ful proceeding. For, as was urged by the Lords on 
a particular occasion, " it is held vain, and below the 
wisdom of Parliament, to reason or argue against 
fixed resolutions, and upon terms of impossibility to 
persuade." — 3 Hats. 226. So the Commons say ** an 
adherence is never deUvered at a free conference, 
which implies debate." — 10 Grey, 147. And on 
another occasion, the Lords made it an objection 
that the Commons had asked a free conference after 
they had made resolutions of adhering. It was then 
affirmed, however, on the part of the Commons, 
that nothing was more Parliamentary than to pro- 
ceed with free conferences after adhering; 3 Hats. 

43° Jefferson's Works 

269; an we do in fact see instances of conference or 
of free ( inference, asked after the resolution of dis- 
agreeing — 3 Hats. 251, 253. 260. 286, 291, 316, 349, 
of insist: ig, ib. 280, 296, 299, 319, 322, 355, of adher- 
ing, 269, 270, 28.'?, .100; and even of a second or final 
adheren* ind in all cases of con- 

ference { ' disagreement, &c., the 

conferees ing it are to leave the 

papers ■" ' the other; and in one 

case wh eceive them, they were 

left on t 'ence chamber.^3 Hats. 

271, 31 y, 146, The Commons 

affirm, 1 ; two free conferences or 

more bt-iui v. v.. v..^ ..J proceeds to adhere, 

because, before that time, the Houses have not had 
the full opportunity of making replies to one 
another's arguments, and, to adhere so suddenly and 
unexpectedly, excludes all possibility of offering 
expedients. — 4 Hats. 330. 

After a free conference the usage is to proceed 
with free conferences, and not to return again to a 
conference. — 3 Hats. 270; 9 Grey, 229. 

After a conference denied, a free conference may 
be asked. — 1 Grey, 45. 

When a conference is asked, the subject of it must 
be expressed, or the conference not agreed to. — Ord. 
H. Com. 89; I Grey, 425; 7 Grey, 31. They are 
sometimes asked to inquire concerning an offence or 
default of a meml^r of the other House. 6 Grey, 181 ; 
I Chand. 304; or the failure of the other House to 

Parliamentary Manual 431 

present to the King a bill passed by both Houses, 8 
Grey, 302; or on information received, and relating 
to the safety of the nation, 10 Grey, 711, or when the 
methods of Parliament are thought by the one 
House to have been departed from by the other, a 
conference is asked to come to a right understand- 
ing thereon. — 10 Grey. 148. So, when an unparlia- 
mentary message has been sent, instead of answer- 
ing it, they ask a conference. — 3 Grey, 155. For- 
merly, an address, or articles of impeachment, or a 
bill with amendments, or a vote of the House, or 
concurrence in a vote, or a message from the King, 
were sometimes communicated by way of confer- 
ence. — 7 Grey, 128, 300, 387; 7 Grey, 80; 8 Grey, 
210, 255; I Torbuck's Deb. 278; 10 Grey, 293; 
I Chandler, 49, 287. But this is not modem 
practice. — 8 Grey, 255. 

A conference has been asked after the first read- 
ing of a bill. I Grey, 194. This is a singular 
instance. During the time of a conference, the 
House can do no business. As soon as the oames 
of the managers are called over, and they are gone 
to the conference, the Speaker leaves the chair, with- 
out any question, and resumes it in the return of the 
managers. It is the same while the managers of an 
impeachment are at the House of Lords. — 4 Hats. 
47, 209, 288. 

432 Jefferson's Works 



Messages between the Houses are to be sent only 
while both Houses are sitting. — 3 Hats. 15. They 
are received during a debate, without adjotuning 
the debate. — 3 Hats. 22. 

In Senate, the messengers are introduced in any state of business, 
except — I. While a question is putting. 2. While the yeas and nays 
are calling. 3. While the ballots are calling. The first case is short: 
the second and third are cases where any interruption might occasion 
errors difficult to be corrected. — So arranged, June 15th, 1798. 

In the House of Representatives, as in Parliament, if the House be 
in a committee when a messenger attends, the Speaker takes the chair 
to receive the message, and then quits it to return into a committee, 
without any question or interruption. — 4 Grey, 226. 

Messengers are not saluted by the members, but 
by the Speaker, for the House. — 2 Grey, 253, 274. 

If messengers commit an error in delivering their 
messages, they may be admitted, or called in, to cor- 
rect their message. — 4 Grey, 41 . Accordingly, March 
13, 1800, the Senate having made two amendments to 
a bill from the House of Representatives, their secre- 
tary, by mistake, delivered one only; which being 
inadmissible by itself, that House disagreed, and 
notified the Senate of their disagreement. This 
produced a discovery of the mistake. The secre- 
tary was sent to the other House to correct his mis- 
take, the correction was received, and the two 
amendments acted on de novo. 

As soon as the messenger, who has brought bills 

Parliamentary Manual 433 

from the other House, has retired, the Speaker holds 
the bills in his hand, and acquaints the House, 
"That the other House have, by their messenger, 
sent certain bills," and then reads their titles, and 
delivers them to the clerk to be safely kept till they 
shall be called for to be read. — Hakew. 178. 

It is not the usage for one House to inform the 
other by what numbers a bill has passed. — 10 Grey, 
150. Yet they have sometimes recommended a bill 
as of great importance to the consideration of the 
House to which it is sent. — 3 Hats. 25. Nor when 
they have rejected a bill from the other House, do 
they give notice of it; but it passes sub silentio to 
prevent unbecoming altercation. — i Black. 133. 

But in Congress the rejection is notified by message to the House 
in which the bill originated. 

A question is never asked by the one House of the 
other by way of message, but only at a conference; 
for this is an interrogatory, not a message. — 3 Grey, 

iSif 181. 

When a bill is sent by one House to the other, and 
is neglected, they may send a message to remind 
them of it. — 3 Hats. 25; 5 Grey, 154. But if it be 
mere inattention, it is better to have it done infor- 
mally, by communications between the Speakers, or 
members of the two Houses. 

Where the subject of a message is of a nature that 
it can properly be communicated to both Houses of 
Parliament, it is expected that this commimication 

VOL. XX — a 8 

434 Jefferson's Works 

shotild be made to both on the same day. But 
where a message was accompanied with an original 
declaration, signed by the party, to which the mes- 
sage referred, its being sent to one House was not 
noticed by the other, because the declaration, being 
original, could not possibly be sent to both Houses 
at the same time. — 2 Hats. 260, 261, 262. 

The King having sent original letters to the Com- 
mons, afterwards desires they may be returned, 
that he may communicate them to the Lords. — i 
Chandler^ 303. 



The House which has received a bill, and passed 
it, may present it for the King's assent, and ought 
to do it, though they have not by message notified 
to the other their passage of it. Yet the notifying 
by message is a form which ought to be observed 
between the two Houses, from motives of respect 
and good understanding. — 3 Hats. 242. Were the 
bill to be withheld from being presented to the King, 
it would be an infringement of the rules of Parlia- 
ment. — 2 Hats. 242. 

When a bill has passed both Houses of Congress, the House Isit 
acting on it notifies its passage to the other, and delivers the bill to 
the joint committee of enrolment, who see that it is truly enrolled in 
parchment. When the bill is enrolled, it is not to be written in para- 
graphs, but solidly and all of a piece, that the blanks within the para- 
graphs may not give room for forgery.-^ Orey, 143. It is then put 
in the hands of the clerk of the House of Representatives, to have it 

Parliamentary Manual 435 

signed by the Speaker. The clerk then brings it by way of message 
to the Senate, to be signed by their President. The secretary of the 
Senate returns it to the committee of enrolment, who present it to the 
President of the United States. If he approves, he signs and deposits 
it among the rolls in the office of the Secretary of State, and notifies 
by message the House in which it originated, that he has approved 
and signed it; of which that House informs the other by message. If 
the President disapproves, he is to return it, with his objections, to 
the House in which it shall have originated; who are to enter the 
objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, 
after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the House shall agree to pass 
the bill, it shall be sent, together with the President's objections, to 
the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if 
approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law. If any 
bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays 
excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be 
a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress, by 
their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not be a 
law. — Const, U. 5., Art. I. Sec. 7. 



Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of the 
Senate and the House of Representatives may be necessary, (except 
on a question of adjournment,) shall be presented to the President of 
the United States, and before the same shall take effect, shall be 
approved by him, or, being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed 
by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according 
to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill. — Const. 
U. 5., Art. I. Sec. 7. 

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time 
to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their judg- 
ment, reqtiire secrecy.— Con^/., I. 5, 3. 

Every vote of Senate shall be entered on the journal, and a brief 
statement of the contents of each petition, memorial, or paper, pre- 
sented to the Senate, be also inserted on the journal. — Rule 24. 

The proceedings of the Senate, when not acting as in a committee 
of the House, shall be entered on the jotimals, as concisely as possible, 
care being taken to detail a true accotmt of the proceedings. — RuU 26. 

The titles of bills, and such part thereof only as shall be affected by 
proposed amendments, shall be inserted on the journals. — RuU 27. 


Jefferson's Works 

If a question is interrupted by a vote to adjourn, 
or to proceed to the orders of the day, the original 
question is never printed in the journal, it never 
having been a vote, nor introductory to any vote; 
but when suppressed by the previous question, the 
first question must be stated, in order to introduce, 
and make inteUigible, the second. — 2 Hals. 83. 

So also, when a question is postponed, adjourned, 
or laid on the table, the original question, though 
not yet a vote, must be expressed in the journals; 
because it makes part of the vote of postponement, 
adjourning, or laying on the table. 

Where amendments are made to a question, those 
amendments are not printed in the journals, sepa- 
rated from the question; but only the question as 
finally agreed to by the House. The rule of enter- 
ing in the journals only what the House has agreed 
to, is founded in great prudence and good sense; as 
there may be many questions proposed which it may 
be improper to pubHsh to the world, in the form in 
which they are made. — 2 Hois. 85. 

In both Houses of Congress, all questions whereon the yeas and na^i 
sre desired by one-fifth of the members present, whether decided 
aflirmatively or negatively, must be entered on the jounuls.^-C^wt, 
I S. 3- 

The first order for printing the votes of the House 
of Commons, was October 30, 1685. — i Chandler, 387. 

Some judges have been of opinion, that the jour- 
nals of the House of Commons are no records, but 
remembrances. But this is no law.— C06. 110, iii; 

Parliamentary Manual 437 

Lex. Pari. 114, 115; Jour. H. C. Mar. 17, 1592; Hale, 
Pari. 105. For the Lords, in their House, have 
power of judictaure ; the Commons, in their House, 
have power of judicature ; and both Houses together 
have power of judicatiure ; and the book of the clerk 
of the House of Commons is a record, as is affirmed 
by act of Parliament. — 6 H. &. c. i6\ Inst. 23, 24; 
and every member of the House of Commons has a 
judicial place. — 4 Inst. 15. As records, they are 
open to every person; and a printed vote of either 
House is sufficient ground for the other to notice it. 
Either may appoint a committee to inspect the 
journals of the other, and report what has been done 
by the other in any particular case. — 2 Hats. 261 ; 3 
Hats. 27, 30. Every member has a right to see the 
journals, and to take and publish votes from them. 
Being a record, every one may see and publish 
them. — 6 Grey, 118, 119. 

On information of a mis-entry or omission of an 
entry in the journal, a committee may be appointed 
to examine and rectify it, and report it to the 
House. — 2 Hats. 194, 5- 



The two Houses of Parliament have the sole, 
separate, and independent power of adjourning, 
each their respective Houses. The King has no 

438 Jefferson's Works 

authority to adjotim them ; he can only signify his 
desire, and it is in the wisdom and prudence of 
either House to comply with his requisition, or 
not, as they see fitting. — 2 Hats. 332; i Blackstone, 
186; 5 Grey, 122. 

By the Constitution of the United States, a smaller number than a 
majority may adjotun from day to day. — I. 5. But neither House, 
during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, 
adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in 
which the two Houses shall be sitting. — I. 5. The President may on, 
extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and 
in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of 
adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think 
proper. — Const, II. 3. 

A motion to adjourn simply, cannot be amended 
as by adding, " To a particular day." But must be 
put simply, "That this House do now adjourn?" 
and if carried in the affirmative, it is adjourned to 
the next sitting day, unless it has come to a previous 
resolution, "That at its rising, it will adjourn to a 
particular day," and then the House is adjourned 
to that day. — 2 Hats. 82. 

Where it is convenient that the business of the 
House be suspended for a short time, as for a con- 
ference presently to be held, &c., it adjourns during 
pleasure. — 2 Hats. 305. Or for a quarter of an hour. 
—5 Grey, 331. 

If a question be put for adjournment, it is no 
adjotimment till the Speaker pronounces it. — 5 Grey, 
137. And from courtesy and respect, no member 
leaves his place till the Speaker has passed on. 

Parliamentary Manual 439 



Parliament have three modes of separation, to 
wit, by adjotimment, by prorogation, by dissolution 
by the King, or by the efflux of the term for which 
they were elected. Prorogation or dissolution con- 
stitutes there what is called a session; provided 
some act has passed. In this case, all matters 
depending before them are discontinued, and at 
their next meeting are to be taken up de novo, if 
taken up at all. — i BUickstone, i86. Adjournment, 
which is by themselves, is no more than a continu- 
ance of the session from one day to another, or for a 
fortnight, a month, etc., ad libitum. All matters 
depending remain in statu quo, and when they meet 
again, be the term ever so distant, are resumed with- 
out any fresh commencement, at the point at which 
they were left. — i Lev. 165; Lex. Pari. c. 2; 1 Ro. 
Rep. 29; 4 Inst. 7, 27, 28; Hut. 61; i Mod. 152; 
Ruffh. Jac. L. Diet. Parliaments', Blackstone, 186. 
Their whole session is considered in law but as one 
day, and has relation to the first day thereof. — Bro. 
Abro. Parliament, 86. 

Committees may be appointed to sit during a 
recess by adjournment, but not by prorogation. — 
5 Grey, 374; 9 Grey, 350; i Chandler, 50. Neither 
House can continue any portion of itself in any Par- 
liamentary function, beyond the end of the session, 
without the consent of the other two branches. 

440 Jefferson's Work^ 

When done, it is by a bill constituting them com- 
missioners for the particular purpose. 

Congress separate in two ways only, to wit, by adjournment or dis- 
solution by the efflux of their time. What then constitutes a session 
with them ? A dissolution certainly closes one session, and the meet- 
ing of the new Congress begins another. The Constitution authorizes 
the President, "On extraordinary occasions, to convene both Houses, 
or either of them." — Art. I. Sec. 3. If convened by the President's 
proclamation, this must begin a new session, and of course determine 
the preceding one to have been a session. So, if it meets under the 
clause of the Constitution, which says, "The Congress shall assemble, 
at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Mon- 
day in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day,*' — 
I. 4, — ^this must begin a new session. For even if the last adjourn- 
ment was to this day, the act of adjotamment is merged in the higher 
authority of the Constitution, and the meeting will be tmder that, and 
not under their adjournment. So far we have fixed landmarks for 
determining sessions. In other cases, it is declared by the joint vote 
authorizing the President of the Senate and the Speaker to close the 
session on a fixed day, which is usually in the following form, "Re- 
solved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, that the Presi- 
dent of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
be authorized to close the present session, by adjotiming their respec- 
tive Houses on the day of ." 

When it was said above, that all matters depend- 
ing before Parliament were discontinued by the 
determination of the session, it was not meant for 
judiciary cases, depending before the House of 
Lords, such as impeachments, appeals, and writs of 
error. These stand continued of course to the next 
session. — Raym. 120, 381; Ruffh. Jac. L. D. Parlia- 

Impeachments stand in like manner continued before the Senate of 
the United States. 

Parliftipi^nUry M^Qual 44^ 



The President of the United States luts power, by and with the 
advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two- 
thirds of the Senators present concur. — Const, U. 5., Art. II. Sec. a. 

Resolved, That all confidential communications, mafle by ^he Presi- 
dent of the United States to the Senate, shall be, by the members 
thereof, kept inviolably secret; and that all treaties, which may here- 
after be laid before the Senate, shall also be kept secret, until the 
Senate shall, by their resolution, take off the injunction pf sepr^y.-r- 
Dec, lid, 1804. 

Treaties are legislative acts. A treaty is a law of 
the land. It diflfers from other laws only as it mtjst 
have the consent of a foreign nation, being but a 
contract with respect to that nation. In all coun- 
tries, I believe, except England, treaties are made 
by the legislative power; and there, also, if they 
touch the laws of the land, they must be approved 
by Parliament. Ware vs. Hilton. — 3 Dallas's Rep. 
199. It is acknowledged, for instance, that the 
King of Great Britain cannot, by a treaty, make a 
citizen of an alien. — Vattel, b. i, c. 19, sec. 214. An 
act of Parliament was necessary to validate the 
American treaty of 1783. And abundant examples 
of such acts can be cited. In the case of the treaty 
of Utrecht, in 17 12, the commercial articles required 
the concurrence of Parliament. But a bill brought 
in for that purpose was rejected. France, the other 
contracting party, suffered these articles, in practice, 
to be not insisted on, and adhered to the rest of the 

442 Jefferson's Works 

treaty. — 4 Russell's Hist. Mod. Europe, 457 ; 2 
Smollet, 242, 246. 

By the Constitution of the United States, this department of legis- 
lation is confined to two branches only, of the ordinary Legislature: 
the President originating, and Senate having a negati\'e. To what 
subject this power extends, has not been defined in detail by the Con- 
stitution; nor are we entirely agreed among ourselves, i. It is ad- 
mitted that it must concern the foreign nation, party to the contract, 
or it would be a mere nullity res inter alias acta, s. By the general 
power to make treaties, the Constitution must hav-e intended to com- 
prehend only those objects which are usually regulated by treaty, and 
cannot be otherwise regulated. 3. It must have meant to except out 
of these the rights reserved to the States; for surely the President and 
Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is Interdicted 
from doing in any way. 4. And also to except those subjects of legis- 
lation in which it gave a participation to the House of Representatives. 
This last exception is denied by some, on the ground that it would 
leave very little matter for the treaty power to work on. The less the 
better, say others. The Constitution thought it wise to restrain the 
Executive and Senate from entangling and embroiling our affairs with 
those of Europe. Besides, as the negotiations are carried on by the 
Executive alone, the subjecting to the ratification of the Representa- 
tives such articles as are within their participation, is no more incon- 
venient than to the Senate. But the ground of this exemption is 
denied as unfounded. For examine, e. g.. the treaty of commence 
with France, and it will be found that out of thirty-one articles, there 
are not more than small portions of two or three of them which would 
not still remain as subjects of treaties, untouched by these exceptions. 

Treaties being declared, equally with the laws of the United Slates, 
to be the supreme law of the land, it is understood that an act of thi 
Legislature alone can declare them infringed and rescinded. This wm 
accordingly the process adopted in the case of France, 1798, 

It has been the usage of the Executive, when ii 
treaty to the Senate for their ratification, to communicate also thi 
correspondence of the negotiations. This having been omitted in 
the case of the Prussian treaty, was asked by a vote of the House o( 
February 11, 1800, and was obtained. And in December. i3oo, the 
Convention of that vear, between the United Slates and France, with 

Parliamentary Manual 443 

the report of the negotiations by the Envoys, but not their instruc- 
tions, being laid before the Senate, the instructions were asked for» 
and communicated by the President. 

The mode of voting on questions of ratification is by nominal call. 

Resolved, as a standing rule, That whenever a treaty shall be laid 
before the Senate for ratification, it shall be read a first time for infor- 
mation only; when no motion to reject, ratify, or modify the whole 
or any part, shall be received. 

That its second reading shall be for consideration; and on a subse- 
quent day, when it shall be taken up as in a committee of the whole, 
and every one shall be free to move a question on any particular 
article in this form: "Will the Senate advise and consent to the rati- 
fication of this article?" or to propose amendments thereto, either by 
inserting or leaving out words, in which last case the question shall be, 
" Shall the words stand part of the article ? " And in every of the said 
cases, the conctirrence of two-thirds of the Senators present shall be 
required to decide affirmatively. And when through the whole, the 
proceedings shall be stated to the House, and questions be again sev- 
erally put thereon for confirmation, or new ones proposed, requiring 
in like manner a concurrence of two-thirds for whatever is retained or 

That the votes so confirmed shall, by the House or a committee 
thereof, be reduced into the form of a ratification with or without 
modifications, as may have been decided, and shall be proposed on a 
subsequent day, when every one shall again be free to move amend- 
ments, either by inserting or leaving out words; in which last case the 
question shall be, "Shall the words stand part of the resolution.?" 
And in both cases the concurrence of two- thirds shall be requisite to 
carry the affirmative; as well as on the final question to advise and con- 
sent to the ratification in the form agreed to. — Rule of Jan. 6, 1801. 

Resolved, That when any question may have been decided by the 
Senate, in which two-thirds of the members present are necessary to 
carry the affirmative, any member who voted on that side which pre- 
vailed in the question may be at liberty to move for a reconsideration; 
and a motion for reconsideration shall be decided by a majority of 
votes. — Rule of Feb. 3, 1801. 

444 Jefferson's Works 



These are the provisions of the Constitution of 
the United States on the subject of impeachments. 
The following is a sketch on some of the principles 
and practices of England on the same subject. 

The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeach' 
nent.—Consl. U. S.. Art. I. Sec. 3. 

uneaU. ^H 
inAtion, ^^M 

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachmetiUi 

When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirnwtion. 
When the President of the United Slates is tried, the Chief Jvkstic« 
shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the 
rence of two-thirda of the members present. Judgment, in 1 
impeachment, shall not extend further than to remo^'al from of&ottt 
and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust. 
profit, under the United States. But the parly convicted shall never — 

theless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and pun 

ishment, according to law. — Const. U . S.. Art. I, Sec. 3. 

The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the Unitev^ 
States, shall be removed from office on inipeachraent for. and conv 
tioa of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 
Const. U. S., Art. II. Sec. 4. 

The trial of crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be 1 
jury.— Ci>HJ(. U. S., Art. III. Sec. a. 

Jurisdiction. — ^The Lords cannot impeach any to 

themselves, nor join in the accusation, because they 
are judges. — Seld. Judic. in Pari. 12, 63. Nor can 
they proceed against a commoner, but on complaint 
of the Commons. — 7b. 84. The Lords may not. b 
the law, try a commoner for capital offence, on the 
information of the King, or a private person ; because 
the accused is entitled to a trial by his peers gener- 

Parliamentary Manual 445 

ally; but on accusation by the House of Commons, 
they may proceed against the delinquent, of what- 
soever degree, and whatsoever be the nature of the 
offence; for there they do not asstmie to themselves 
trial at common law. The Commons are then 
instead of a jury, and the judgment is given on their 
demand, which is instead of a verdict. So the 
Lords do only judge but not try the delinquent. — 
lb. 6, 7. But Wooddeson denies that a commoner 
can now be charged capitally before the Lords, even 
by the Commons; and cites Fitzharris's case, 1681, 
impeached of high treason, where the Lords remitted 
the prosecution to the inferior court. — 8 Grey's Deb. 
325, 6, 7; 2 Wooddeson, 601, 576; 3 Seld. 1610, 1619, 
1641; 4 Black. 257; 3 Seld. 1604, 1618, 9. 1656. 

Accusation. — ^The Commons, as the grand inquest 
of the nation, become suitors for penal justice. — 2 
Woodd. 597; 6 Grey, 356. The general course is to 
pass a resolution, containing a criminal charge 
against the supposed delinquent, and then to direct 
some member to impeach him by oral accusation, 
at the bar of the House of Lords, in the name of the 
Commons. The person signifies, that the articles 
will be exhibited, and desires that the delinquent 
may be sequestered from his seat, or be committed, 
or that the Peers will take order for his appearance. 
— Sachev. Trial. 325; 2 Woodd. 602, 605; Lords' 
Jour. 3 June, 1701; i Wms. 616; Grey, 324. 

Process. — If the party do not appear, proclama- 
tions are to be issued giving him a day to appear. 

446 Jefferson's Works 

On their return they are strictly examined. If any 
error be found in them, a new proclamation issues, 
giving a short day. If he appear not, his goods 
may be arrested, and they may proceed. — Seld. 
Jud. 98, 99. 

Articles. — The accusation (article) of the Com- 
mons, is substituted in place of an indictment. 
Thus, by the usage of ParUament, an impeachment 
for writing or speaking the particular words, need 
not be specified. — Sack. Tr. 325; 2 Woodd. 602, 605; 
Lords' Journ. 3 June, 1701 ; i Wms. 616. 

Appearance. — If he appears, and the case be cap- 
ital, he answers in custody; though not if the accu- 
sation be general. He is not to be committed but 
on special accusations. If it be for a misdemeanor 
only, he answers a Lord in his place, a Commoner 
at the bar, and not in custody, unless, on the answer, 
the Lords find cause to commit him till he find 
sureties to attend, and lest he should fly. — Seld. 
Jud. 98, 99. A copy of the articles is given him, 
and a day fixed for his answer. — T. Ray; i Rushw, 
268; Post. 232. I Clar. Hist, of the Reb. 379. On 
a misdemeanor, his appearance may be in person, 
or he may answer in writing, or by attorney. — Seld. 
Jud. 100. The general rule on accusation for a mis- 
demeanor is, that in such a state of liberty or 
restraint as the party is when the Commons com- 
plain of him, in such he is to answer. — Seld. Jud. loi. 
If previously conmiitted by the Conmions, he 
answers as a prisoner. But this may be called, in 

Parliamentary Manual 447 

some sort, judicium parium suorum. — Seld. Jud. 
In misdemeanors, the party has a right to cotmsel 
by the common law; but not in capital cases. — Jtid. 
Seld. 102-5. 

Answer. — The answer need not observe great 
strictness of form. He may plead guilty as to part, 
and defend as to the residue; or, saving all excep- 
tions, deny the whole, or give a particular answer to 
each article separately. — i Rush. 247; 2 Ru^h. 1374; 
12 Pari. Hist. 442; 3 Lords' Jaurn. 13 Nov., 1643; 2 
Woodd. 607. But he cannot plead a pardon in bar 
to the impeachment. — 2 Woodd. 618; 2 St. Tr. 735. 

Replication, rejoinder, &c. — ^There may be a repli- 
cation, rejoinder, &c. — Seld. Jud. 114; 8 Grey's Deb. 
233; Sack. Tr. 15; Joum. House of Commons^ 6 
March, 1640, i. 

Witnesses. — ^The practice is to swear the witnesses 
in open Hotise, and then examine them there: or a 
committee may be named, who shall examine them 
in committee either on interrogatories agreed on in 
the House, or such as the committee, in their dis- 
cretion, shall demand. — Seld. Jud. 120, 123. 

Jury. — In the case of Alice Pierce, i /?. 2. a jury 
was empannelled for her trial before a committee. — 
Seld. Jud. 123. But this was on a complaint, not 
an impeachment by the Commons. — Seld. Jud. 163. 
It mtist also have been for a misdemeanor only, as 
the Lords Spiritual sat in the case, which they do on 
misdemeanors, but not in capital cases. — Seld. Jud. 
148. The judgment was a forfeiture of all her lands 

448 Jefferson's Works 

and goods. — Seld. Jud. i88. This, Selden says, is 
the only jury he finds recorded in Parliament for 
misdemeanors; but he makes no doubt if the delin- 
quent doth put himself on the trial of his country, 
a jury ought to be empannelled: and he adds, that 
it is not so on impeachment by the Commons; for 
they are in oco propria, and here no jury ought to be 
empannelled. — lb. 124. The Lord Berkeley, 6 E. 3, 
was arraigned for the murder of , L. 2, on an informa- 
tion on the part of the King, and not on impeach- 
ment of the Commons; for then they had been 
patria sua. He waived his peerage, and was tried 
by a jury of Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. — 
76. 125. In one, i //. 7, the Commons protest that 
they are not to be considered as parties to any judg- 
ment given, or hereafter to be given in Parliament. 
— lb. 133. They have been generally, and more 
justly considered, as is before stated, as the grand 
jury. For the conceit of Selden is certainly not 
accurate, that they are the patria sua of the accused, 
and that the Lords do only judge, but not try. It 
is undeniable that they do try. For they examine 
witnesses as to the facts, and acquit or condemn 
according to their own belief of them. And Lord 
Hale says, " the Peers are judges of law as well as of 
fact." — 2 Hale, P. C. 275. Consequently of fact as 
well as of law. 

Presence of Commons. — ^The Commons are to be 
present at the examination of witnesses. — Seld. Jud. 
124. Indeed, they are to attend throughout, either 

Parliamentary Manual 449 

as a committee of the whole House ; or otherwise, at 
discretion, appoint managers to conduct the proofs. 
— Rushw. Tr. of Straff. 37 ; Com. Journ. 4 Feb., 1709, 
10; 2 Wood. 614. And judgment is not to be given 
till they demand it. — Seld. Jud. 124. But they are 
not to be present on impeachment when the Lords 
consider of the answer or proofs, and determine of 
their judgment. Their presence, however, is neces- 
sary at the answer and judgment in cases capital- 
lb. 58, 159; as well as not capital, 162. The Lords 
debate the judgment among themselves. Then the 
vote is first taken on the question of guilty or not 
guilty; and if they convict, the question, or partic- 
ular sentence, is out of that which seemeth to be 
most generally agreed on. — Seld. Jud. 167; 2 Wood. 

Ji4dgment. — ^Judgments in Parliament, for death, 
have been strictly guided per legem terra, which 
they cannot alter; and not at all according to their 
discretion. They can neither admit any part of the 
legal judgment, nor add to it. Their sentence mtist 
be secundum, non ultra legem. — Seld. Jud. 168, 169, 
170, 171. This trial, though it varies in external 
ceremony, yet differs not in essentials from criminal 
prosecutions before inferior courts. The same rules 
of evidence, the same legal notions of crimes and 
punishments, prevail. For impeachments were not 
framed to alter the law, but to carry it into more 
effectual execution against too powerful delinquents. 
The judgment, therefore, is to be such as is war- 

VOL. II — 29 

45* Jefferson's Works 

ranted by legal principles or precedents. — 6 Stra. Tr, 
14; 2 Wood. 611. The Chancellor gives judgments 
in misdemeanors; the Lord High Steward, formerly, 
in cases of life and death. — Seld. Jud. 180. But now 
the Steward is deemed not necessary. — Fost, 144; i 
Woodd. 613. In misdemeanors, the greatest cor- 
poral pimishment hath been imprisonment. — Sold. 
Ji4d. 184. The Bang's assent is necessary in capital 
judgments, (but 2 Woodd. 614. contra.) but not in 
misdemeanors. — Seld. Jud. 136. 

Contimuince. — ^An impeachment is not discon- 
tinued by the dissolution of Parliament; but may 
be resumed by the new Parliament. — T. Ray. 383; 
5 Com. Jour. 23 Dec, 1790; Lords' Jour. May 16, 
1791; 2 Wood. 618. 

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